The horticulture department is chalking out plans to increase the area under cultivation of exotic vegetables in tribal pockets of Vizag Agency following an increase in demand in retail markets in Vizag city. Broccoli, red cabbage, zucchini and Chinese cabbage are among the vegetables grown in some mandals in the Agency.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, K Gopi Kumar, deputy director of horticulture, Visakhapatnam said “The cool climatic and soil conditions in Vizag Agency are suitable for cultivation of exotic vegetables. At present some farmers in Araku Valley, Dumbriguda and Hukumpeta mandals in Vizag Agency grow the vegetables in the Rabi season on over 400 acres. We are planning to expand cultivation in the winter.”
On the daily requirement of vegetables, Gopi Kumar said on average, Vizag district consumes at least 600 to 700 tonnes of vegetables per day. The area under vegetable cultivation in the district is around 4,600 hectares and farmers in the region produce over 250 tonnes of vegetables per day. Vizag city and other parts of the district also depend on neighbouring Vizianagaram and East Godavari districts for vegetables, which together supply over 400 tonnes of vegetables per day.
Though the demand for exotic vegetables grown in the Araku region is high in Vizag city, tribal farmers are struggling to transport vegetables from the hilly areas to the city. “We are appealing to the government to operate some vehicles for transportation of vegetables from hilly areas to urban areas,” said K Surendra of the CPI(M).
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