Fulfilling its budget announcement, the railways on 7th July 2020 began the Kisan Rail service to transport perishables at affordable cost. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar flagged off the First Kisan Rail train from Maharashtra's Devlali station to Danapur in Bihar. As per this initiative, the Kisan Rail will run through public-private-partnership mode to provide a seamless supply chain of perishable goods. The train will cover a distance of 1,519 kilometers in almost 32 hours on a single trip and will halt at 14 stations, including Nashik Road, Manmad, Itarsi, Satna, Prayagraj and Buxar.
Calling Kisan Rail a game changer in ensuring faster transportation of agriculture produce across the nation, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar said the initiative will benefit both the farmers and consumers. Addressing the event through video conferencing, Mr. Tomar praised the railways for ensuring unhindered supply of foodgrains during the coronavirus induced lockdown.
Apart from carrying fruits and vegetables like capsicum, onion, chillies, banana and grapes; the Indian Railways’ first ever multi commodity trains will have frozen containers to ensure a cold supply chain even for fish, meat and milk.
It is noteworthy that the inaugural Kisan Rail train carried 22 tonnes of perishables from Nashik and 26.5 tonnes of food items from Manmad. Meanwhile, the railways, along with local farmers, businessmen and the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees are making more and more efforts to publicise this initiative so that a large number of farmers can reap in the benefits.