It was on August 7, 2020 that the first Kisan Rail was flagged off between Deolali in Maharashtra’s Nashik and Danapur in Bihar. Within a month, a second Kisan Rail has been flagged off, this time connecting a much larger distance. The national capital has now been connected with the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The Kisan train will run between Anantapur in Guntakal Division of South-Central Railway and Adarsh Nagar in Delhi.
Budget 2020 made provisions for Kisan Rail and Kisan Udan to connect Indian farmers with markets through rails and flight respectively. This is in line with the idea of strengthening the agricultural economy and doubling farmers’ income. Kisan Rail and Kisan Udaan will specifically serve in securing and realizing appropriate prices for perishable produce such as vegetables and fruits. It is to be noted that the first Kisan Rail that was started as a weekly service was later made bi-weekly due to increasing demand. Now the second Kisan Rail will benefit farmers of the states coming en route.
How the Second Kisan Rail Plays a Role
Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh from where the Kisan Train originates can be referred to a fruit basin, given the strong growth of horticulture in the region. Fruits and vegetables are being grown over more than 2 lakh ha area, and the Kisan Rail will prove very beneficial to farmers of this region. More than 80% of the 58 lakh MT of fruits and vegetables in the district are marketed out of the state, particularly to the north Indian States of Delhi, UP, Punjab and Haryana among others. Earlier this was being transported by roadways. Starting a Kisan Rail will be particularly helpful to small farmers and traders in marketing their product across the country in a safe, economical and speedy manner.
Kisan Rail train service between Anantapur – New Delhi will cover a distance of 2,150 kms in 40 hours. The rake is loaded with 14 parcel vans – 04 vans load meant for Nagpur and another 10 Vans load for Adarsh Nagar – totalling 332 tonnes. The inaugural Kisan Rail has been loaded with tomato, bananas, sweet orange, papaya, muskmelons and mangoes. It caters to the requirements of small farmers and traders for transportation of their perishable produces such as fruits and vegetables. It will take less time and cost in comparison of road transport ensuring less damage to the farm produce while transportation.
The concept of Kisan Rail works to complement the recent landmark reforms in agriculture market that the Centre announced amidst the Corona crisis. Now, the farmers can sell their produce anywhere. Here comes the utility of Kisan Rail for farmers who can secure right price for their produce before it perishes to those places where the demand persists.