Vijayawada: For the first time in six years, South Central Railway on Sunday flagged off first `Kisan Rail' from Nuzvid to New Delhi in order to help mango traders to sell their produce at a premium.

Loaded with 220 tonnes of mangoes in 20 general coaches and two Second Class Luggage Rake for Disabled (SLRD), the main aim of Kisan Rail is to provide farmers cost-effective transportation.

"By this train, the yield of the farmers of South India will reach new markets in North India. The farmers will get benefit from it," said Piyush Goyal, Railway Minister.

The mango rake was loaded after a gap of six years from the Vijayawada division. It is expected to fetch the SCR (South Central Railway) Rs 9.9 lakh revenue. "In total, about 40 rakes will be loaded during the summer, fetching SCR Rs 3.5 crore revenue," said P Srinivas, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM).

Nuzvid is well known for its mango varieties like Banginapalli, Chinna Rasalu, and Pedda Rasalu.

The Centre has started the concept of running Kisan Rails for boosting the income of the farmers by providing hassle-free, safe and speedy transport services of agricultural produce.

To encourage the farmers, Ministry of Food Processing Industries announced 50 percent tariff concession on transportation of notified fruits and vegetables through Kisan Rails under 'Operation Green – TOP to Total'.

"The Business Development Unit (BDU), Vijayawada division, conducted regular negotiations with farmers and explained to them the benefits of transportation of their produce through Kisan Rails," said Senior Divisional Commercial Manager P. Bhaskar Reddy.

The Divisional Railway Manager also appealed to the farmers and traders to utilize this opportunity and avail special concession and facilities of Railways.

Srinivas told the farmers and traders that Railways will extend full support for hassle-free transportation of their farm produce and requested them to utilize the Kisan Rail scheme which will immensely benefit the agriculture sector.

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