Chhattisgarh vegetables being exported to S. Arabia

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Raipur, Dec 5 (ANI): Pumpkin farmers in Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, are glad to find that their yield has an international demand.

Pumpkins are being exported to Saudi Arabia, where the vegetable is reported to be in huge demand.

Thanks to new exporting opportunities, the scenario of vegetable cultivation in Chattisgarh has changed drastically over the past three years.

Olericulture experts maintain that to sustain exporting opportunities, pumpkin produce must be adequate in both quality and quantity.

Provided with better irrigation and extensive markets, farmers are now better equipped to handle the risks involved in vegetable production.

"It is very true that in the absence of export opportunities, the overproduction was to the extent that we had to feed vegetables to animals to finish our reserves. But for the last three years, ever since export has started, cultivation has become profitable," said Rakesh Sahu, a vegetable cultivator.

Observers believe that given the rising awareness levels, large-scale production of vegetables is there to stay.

Small-scale farmers believe that a little governmental patronage will open the gates of progress for them, as well.

Agriculture experts are of the view that without export opportunities, farmers would not have been so keen to grow pumpkins, cucumbers, and other vegetables which are presently in huge demand.

"These farmers are the very same people as before, but their point of view about the trade has changed. Now people consider that the exports are opening the market extensively. It is akin to an industry in itself. Now the vegetable cultivator is willing to take risks, too," said Arvind Gupta, a commission agent in Bhilai whole-sale vegetable market.

There is a huge demand for vegetables, particularly the pumpkin, from several Gulf countries. The reason for the increasing demand is believed by experts to be the quality of the pumpkin, which is now being grown using modern techniques and with minimal usage of pesticides. (ANI)

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