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Retail will drive growth of fruits and vegetables: Pawar

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According to the ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, about 72 per cent of the fruit and vegetable produced in the country goes waste because of lack of proper retailing and adequate storage capacity.

P K Mishra, secretary in the ministry’s department of agriculture and co-operation, said so while was speaking at a Fruit and Vegetable Summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“The production of vegetables in India is next only to China. The vegetable and fruit production contributes more than 30 per cent of the agriculture GDP. But, the real challenge starts after the production as fruits and vegetables are wasted in the absence of proper retailing,” said Mishra.

Agreeing on the same, agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said: “The agricultural sector is constrained by widespread fragmentation in the supply chain, low productivity levels, and huge post harvest losses arising out of inadequate storage, cold chain and transport infrastructure, and logistics and supply chain management.”

Citing a solution, Pawar said: “Only organised and traditional retailing will ultimately drive the growth of the fruits and vegetable sector in the country.” Pawar also called for an appropriate policy support for the growth of retail chains for fruits and vegetables.

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