- Kisan Rail is a step to enable farmers to utilize the vast railway network to gain access to distant, bigger and more lucrative markets. It is under ministry of Railways.
- Access to such markets will enable farmers to sell their produce at a better price.
- Idea behind running Kisan Rail services is to move perishables including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fishery and dairy products from the areas of production or surplus regions to consumption or deficient regions, and speedy movement of these perishables to ensure minimum damage during transit.
What is the Need for this Initiative?
- Farmers, especially small and marginal farmers, often find it difficult to sell their produce in markets beyond a certain distance, primarily due to factors such as non-availability of affordable transport, delay in transit resulting in damage/decay to produce, and the unwillingness of road transporters to carry small-sized consignments. In order to overcome such hurdles which have been preventing small and marginal farmers from reaching larger markets, an announcement was made in the Union Budget 2020-21 for Indian Railways to set up a ‘Kisan Rail’ for transportation of perishables, inclusive of milk, meat and fish.
What are the Salient Features?
- Vast network of Indian Railways enables farmers from remote villages to connect to the mainstream market and sell their agricultural produce.
- It saves time and encourages farmers to transport their perishables to greater distances and bigger markets.
- Under this, potential circuits for the movement of vegetables, fruits, and other perishables are being identified in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Agriculture/Animal Husbandry/Fisheries Departments of State Governments.
- Under the ‘Operation Greens – TOP to Total’ scheme of Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), 50% subsidy in freight is granted on transportation of fruits and vegetables through Kisan Rail trains services.
- Kisan Rails are based on the concept of multi-commodity, multi-consignor, multi-consignee and multi-stoppages – to help small farmers with lesser produce to transport their consignment without any middleman.
- There is no minimum limit on quantity that can be booked, enabling small famers to reach bigger and distant markets.
Key Highlights of Kisan Rail
- First Kisan Rail service was flagged off on August 07, 2020, between Devlali (Mahrashtra) and Danapur (Bihar).
- 100th trip was between Sangola (Mahrashtra) and Shalimar (West Bengal) – was flagged-off by PM Modi.
- As of 24.12.2021, the Indian Railways has operated 1806 Kisan Rails on 153 routes and carried around 5.90 lakh tonnes of agricultural products.
- Main crops/farm-produce transported via Kisan Rail train include oranges, onion, potato, banana, mango, tomato, pomegranate, custard apple, capsicum, chikoo, carrot, etc.
- Besides fruits and vegetables, Kisan Rail services are also gaining popularity as medium for transportation of other perishable articles like flowers, dairy products, eggs and fishes etc.
- 2,352 Kisan rails have been operated from across the country on 167 rail routes
- Over 7.87 lakh tonnes of agriculture products have been transported so far as on date 5 June 2022.
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