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Put no number limit on project approvals in Marathwada, Vidarbha regions: minister

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Mumbai: Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Dhananjay Munde has urged the World Bank officials to relax condition on number of agricultural production companies in all the districts of Marathwada and Vidarbha regions so that they can receive financial assistance from the World Bank under the Balasaheb Thackeray Agricultural Business and Rural Transformation Project (SMART).

Presiding over a meeting organised here on Wednesday, he said that Marathwada and Vidarbha are areas of low rainfall and low income, hence it is necessary to augment agricultural production in these areas.

In this regard, the number of district-wise limit is being cancelled, he pointed.

The minister suggested to increase the cost of cold storage from Rs 12,500 per tonne to Rs 17,500 per tonne so that agricultural producers can expand their business and double their income.

Furthermore, cold storages with a capacity of 3,000 MT or more be linked to nearby government solar power plants or similar systems that will help company to cut down on electricity consumption and reduce the bills.

He also suggested that in Maharashtra, various food products including soybean, cotton, turmeric are

processed and made available for sale in the market through agricultural manufacturing companies.

In this way, farmers can earn more if these products are directly linked to well-known reputed companies and also by opening easily accessible marketplaces like Amazon to the manufacturing companies, he said.

In this regard, Munde has directed the World Bank, Smart and Department of Agriculture officials that they should hold a joint meeting and workshop with such quality agricultural production companies, global companies and marketing companies and take further decisions.

He also suggested that due to possible fodder problem facing Vidarbha-and Marathwada regions, poultry production should be encouraged through agricultural production companies, he added.

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