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OGAI urges horti board to utilise Mother Dairy infra for oranges in lockdown
Thursday, 09 April, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Vijetha Iyer, Mumbai
The Orange Growers Association of India (OGAI) has urged the National Horticulture Board (NHB) to utilise infrastructure of companies such as Mother Dairy and its fruit and vegetable subsidiary Safal for procurement of oranges from Nagpur and Amravati region as the 21-day nationwide lockdown has affected the movement of inter-state trucks.

Amol Totey, working president, OGAI, said, “In Maharashtra, especially in Nagpur and Amravati districts of Vidarbha, Buldhana and other districts have nearly 35% to 40% ready to harvest Nagpur oranges variety fruits still on plants. During curfew, special transportation passes are needed for vehicles provided by Government of Maharashtra. The one thing which we have noted is that there isn’t any problem for transportation within Maharashtra, but if we look at the major consuming markets like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and other places, required necessary instructions to pass the orange-loaded trucks.”

“Mother Dairy has an efficient procurement system in Nagpur and Amravati region. The discussions are in pipeline but since, Mother Dairy can collect all the produce from the Nagpur region and take them to their Mangolpuri plant in New Delhi which can be marketed directly as they have 450-plus retail outlets in various areas of national capital. So, they will be able to manage but because of the lockdown, the supply is still going on, but there are less buyers by the major consumption places like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore in the wholesale market.” he said.

While talking about the transport facilities, he added, “NHB is co-ordinating with Mother Dairy and if we develop the front-end capacity properly then there will be more procurement. They can distribute oranges to hospitals and other institutions since there are many top hospitals and institutions in Delhi, Bangalore and in Chennai. The major thing is that Mother Dairy has good facilities of cold storages which will be useful and also RTO doesn’t check their vehicles during curfew otherwise, the other transport vehicles need passes during this period.”

Meanwhile, due to unseasonal rain and hailstorm, the Government of India departments must work closely with state government machineries especially for immediate assessment under crop insurance risk cover as this is the peak harvesting season for Nagpur oranges.
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