Synergising agriculture with aviation, Scindia launches Krishi Udan 2.0

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday launched “Krishi Udan 2.0” to facilitate movement of agricultural produce by air. It will implemented at 53 airports across the country mainly focusing on northeast and tribal regions and is likely to benefit farmer, freight forwarders and airlines. The Union aviation ministry plans to pilot the scheme for six months, and, will amend it based on actual experience of stakeholders. The ministry says Krishi Udan 2.0 has formulated with support from AAICLAS — a 100% subsidiary of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Invest India, India’s national Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency, under the Union commerce ministry. It offers full waiver of charges like landing and parking for Indian freighters and at selected AAI airports. Union aviation minister J M Scindia said: “This scheme will open up new avenues of growth for the agriculture sector and help attain the goal of doubling farmers’ income by removing barriers in supply chain, logistics and transportation of farm produce. We want to take the anndata to the highest level, by adopting the model of A2A – agriculture to aviation. The convergence between the two sectors is possible because of three primary reasons — evolutionary possible use of biofuel for aircraft in future, use of drones in agriculture sector, and due to greater integration and value realisation of agricultural products through schemes like Krishi UDAN.” Airside transit and trans-shipment infrastructure will be created at Bagdogra, Guwahati, Leh, Srinagar, Nagpur, Nashik, Ranchi, and Raipur airports. Seven focus routes and the agro products to be flown from there have been identified. These include: Amritsar-Dubai for baby corn; Darbhanga-rest of India for lichis; Sikkim-rest of India for organic produce; Chennai, Vizag and Kolkata – far east for seafood; Agartala-Delhi and Dubai for pineapple; Dibrugarh to Delhi and Dubai for mandarin and oranges; and Guwahati-Hong Kong for pulses, fruits and vegetables.

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