Impressed with the success of Mother Dairy’s retail chain Safal in the national capital, the Maharashtra government is contemplating replicating the model in the state to provide a better market to farmers.
The authorities in Maharashtra are currently studying different models of retail stores including Safal outlets, Dubai’s Gulf Food among others to set up such facilities.
“We have been visiting different places over the past two months in order to study how the farmers can get better price and market for their produce. We are impressed with the way Safal stores operate in New Delhi and we would want to have similar outlets in the state,” Maharashtra’s Cooperative Minister Chandrakant Patil said.
The minister also visited the Safal’s distribution and processing unit in Mangolpuri.
The state has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Diary Development Board (NDDB) in this regard. Mother Dairy, which runs Safal stores, is a subsidiary of NDDB.
“Maharashtra produces fruits and vegetables in large quantities. However, the state does not have adequate means under which the farmers can sell their products directly to consumers, which can also ensure them better rates.
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“The state may not set up such stores, but can encourage farmer cooperatives to do so or ask companies set up by farmers to undertake this initiative. Say 10-25 such farmer companies can set up such stores in different parts of the country,” Patil said.
He also discussed a proposal with Safal for selling cashew nuts grown in the Konkan belt of Maharashtra to be sold through its stores.
“Only one-fourth of the total cashew nuts grown in Konkan are processed in the state. The rest goes to Kerala as raw material. If we get better market, then this can be processed in the district and taluka level.
“We have given them this offer. They have now asked us to give a formal proposal,” Patil added.