1. Agriculture World

Government To Make ‘Kutch Kesar’ A Worldwide Brand In The Next Few Years

In the next few years, efforts are ramping up to make Kutch kesar as popular as Gir kesar and establish it as a global brand.

Chintu Das
Kutch Kesar Mangoes
Kutch Kesar Mangoes

In the next years, government's efforts will increase to make Kutch kesar as popular as Gir kesar and establish it as a global brand. The Indian government has designated Kutch as a cluster for the development of this mango variety as part of its 'Horticulture Cluster Development Programme' (HCDP). The initiative seeks to enhance horticulture throughout the country.

Under the HCDP, Kutch has the potential to attract Rs 200 crore in investment, and this project would help develop Kutch kesar as a brand and increase farmer income. The project's work began this year.

Last week, Abhilaksh Likhi, additional secretary of agriculture and farmers' welfare, paid a visit to the mango groves in Mandvi taluka. Pre-production, production, post-harvest management, logistics, marketing, and branding will all be addressed as part of this programme.

M S Parsaniya, Kutch's deputy director of horticulture, stated, "We expect this programme to attract investment of roughly Rs 200 crore in the next couple of years, with Rs 50 crore coming from the government."

In Kutch, an irradiation facility will be built as part of this project. This facility can be started by a farmers' produce organisation, a co-operative society, a marketing yard, or any private entity. The export of Kutch kesar is now insignificant, but new facility will increase it.

Efforts are also being made to establish an air cargo facility in Kutch so that this mango may be exported directly from the region. A pack house and a cold room are also being considered. "In the next couple of years, we want to expand Kuch kesar exports by 25% and build a cluster-specific brand." Parsaniya said.

Farmers will also receive training in proper agricultural practises in order to produce high-quality fruits. Kutch kesar has a somewhat distinct flavour profile than Gir kesar. Processing machines for pulp will be built, providing farmers with extra money through value addition. The Kesar mango is produced on 10,500 hectares in Kutch and produces roughly 70,000 tonnes per year. Mango farming is practiced by roughly 5,000 farmers in Kutch.

"This project would enhance our income and establish our mango as a brand," Mehul Premjiyani, a farmer from Desalpar Vandhai village, 25 kilometres from Bhuj, said. Kutch kesar is a delicious mango cultivar that will be promoted among mango lovers. Our income will be boosted through mango value addition and export."

The ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare has identified 55 horticulture clusters,  12 of which have been chosen for the pilot launch of the HCDP. These 12 clusters include Shopian (J&K) and Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh) for apple; Lucknow (UP) and Mahbubnagar (Telangana) for mango; Anantapur (Andhra) and Theni (TN) for banana; Nashik (Maharashtra) for grape; Siphahijala (Tripura) for pineapple; Solapur (Maharashtra) and Chitradurga (Karnataka) for pomegranate; and West Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya) for turmeric.

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