The Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) has decided to develop around 207 acres of land parcels in its possession at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust( JNPT), Thane and Nashik into export development zones. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting headed by Maharashtra cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh. MSAMB has some 15 acres of land at JNPT in Mumbai, 92 acres in Thane and 100 acres in Nashik . The minister said the land will be developed into export zones taking into account export requirements of the state in the coming 25-30 years. Sunil Pawar, MD, MSAMB said that an attempt would be made to provide infrastructure after taking all stakeholders into confidence. PP Waghmare, assistant GM (APEDA) said that with the opening of Iran’s Chabhar port, the distance between India and Russia has been reduced to 25 days instead of 40 days earlier. This would help the country gain a foothold into a big market like Russia, he added. At present containers are left lying at the airport for weeks because of the huge rush and backlog at JNPT.
Waghamare alow outlined that temporary electricity has to be provided to ensure air conditioning for these containers which contain perishable goods. Since the facilities are temporary, the quality of goods in the containers is affected and at many times, the exporters do not receive full payment, Waghmare said. This, in turn, affects future orders and farmers do not receive payments for their goods. Exporters demanded an area for stuffing containers, pack houses, cold storage and planning centres at the site so that containers are shipped to overseas markets in the shortest possible time. Thane is considered ideal for shipping goods by air and sea, exporters said, demanding facilities for packing, grading, precooling, cold storage, container stuffing and customs clearing for commodities such as onion. Nashik is being considered for exports of onion and pomegranates.