Amid Covid-19 lockdown, Assam sends pumpkins via cargo flight to Dubai

Amid the ongoing lockdown to control spread of Covid-19, Assam government on Thursday sent a consignment of pumpkins produced in the state on a cargo flight to Dubai.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off the flight at the cargo terminal of Guwahati’s Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in the presence of agriculture minister Atul Bora and transport minister Chandra Mohan Patowary.

“The Covid-19 challenge has given us huge opportunities to explore our strengths. The efforts of Assam’s farmers and government agencies are opening up new avenues for us in the post-COVID world,” tweeted Sonowal.

Addressing mediapersons at the airport, the chief minister mentioned that though the state’s farmers had exported 182 metric tons of fruits and vegetable to various countries before the Covid-19 outbreak, this is the first time a consignment has been sent abroad after lockdown started on March 25.

“We have been able to construct a cargo terminal at the airport along with a warehouse that can store 50 metric tons of goods. This would play a pivotal role in exporting goods produced by our farmers,” Sonowal said.

Government officials failed to give details on the exact quantity of the consignment and its value.

“We have sent a small consignment of pumpkins to Dubai today despite the lockdown restrictions. This is just a beginning and it will boost morale of our farmers,” agriculture minister Atul Bora said.

“During the lockdown, our farmers have been able to sell fruits, vegetables and spices worth Rs 357 crore within the state and other parts of the country. The figure is almost double than the corresponding amount for the previous year,” he added.

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