Spices exports target 10 billion dollars by 2017: Minister

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Guntur, Aug 21 (UNI) Union Minister of state for commerce and power Jairam Ramesh today said his ministry has fixed the spices exports target at 10 billion dollars by July 2017.

Talking to newspersons about his ministry's activities after participating in the foundation stone laying ceremony for Spices Park here, he claimed that in the first fiscal, the spices exports for the first time had crossed Rs 1 billion dollars.

The minister said to encourage chilly and turmuric farmers, the Union Government had decided to set up spices park in Guntur on 124 acres of land.

He said four export oriented private companies have dacided to establish their processing units at the park and they would invest more than Rs 60 crore.

He urged the farmers to adopt non-pesticide farming as almost all countries of the world were demanding pesticide free chillies and government too was encouraging it.

India exported chillies worth Rs 800 crore and 80 per cent of it was from Andhra Pradesh, Mr Ramesh said adding chillies quality centre at Guntur would be fully operational by April 2009.

Speaking on the tobacco, he said this year tobacco farmers have received the maximum price in the history to the tune of Rs 142 per kg and for their benefit, penalty on non-licensed produce had been waived and a Rs 15 crore welfare fund created by the tobacco board.

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