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April 1996, Volume 2, Number 2

India Steps Up Produce Exports

India is the world's second largest producer of fruits and
vegetables--after the US. India's exports of FVH commodities more
than doubled to $137 million in 1995, as Indian farmers adopted new
varieties of strawberries, US-methods of cooling grapes, and
high-quality flowers. However, the Indian government restricts
imports of seeds and fertilizers, and farmers complain that careful
harvesting and packing is made useless by inadequate cooling and
transportation facilities.

About 70 percent of India's 930 million people live in rural
areas, and some hope to create jobs in rural areas by processing more
fruits and vegetables. India's per capita GNP in 1993 was about $300.

Only one percent of India's fruits and vegetables are commercially
packed or processed, versus 70 percent in the US and Brazil, an
estimated one-third of the produce spoils through inadequate
handling.



Miriam Jordan, "India plans move from field to factory," Asian
Wall Street Journal, March 8-9, 1996.


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