Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

From today, ‘weekly markets’ for farmers

Weekly markets have been a regular feature in villages. Weekly markets have been a regular feature in villages.
Express News Service | Posted: June 29, 2014 3:26 am

In order to allow the ongoing initiative of the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) to directly market agricultural products, a ‘Farmers Weekly Market’ is on the cards.

The first such market will be held at Gandhi Bhavan in Kothrud on June 29. Other than fruits and vegetables, this weekly market will also sell grains, milk produce and other farm produce for sale.

Tushar Agarwal, the organiser for the first weekly market said the move aims at allowing direct interaction between the farmers and the buyers. “The presence of middlemen at various levels spikes up the prices of agricultural produce. Through this initiative, we aim to cut out the middlemen and help the farmers get a better fare for their produce,” he said. Agarwal said that the prices of the produce in the market would be less than the current market value.

Weekly markets have been a regular feature in villages, whose place in urban areas have been taken up mostly by malls. The reintroduction of this concept is one of the intiatives taken by MSAMB to allow direct marketing by farmers. Other than this, MSAMB is also running an initiative to help farmers sell their produce in housing societies directly. At present, this initiative is running in 226 locations in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad.

Agarwal, speaking about the move, said that the main complaint he receives from people is that they are not able to get all the produce under one roof. “Even in farm produce, many things are not available and this weekly bazaar will address that concern,” he said. For Sunday’s bazaar, around 30 farmers’ groups from all the talukas of Pune district will be participating.

Agarwal, who himself is from a farmers’ group, said that they have tried to address the lack of variety sometimes seen in farm produce being sold. As groups from all over the district will be joining the bazaar, variety will not be a problem. Other than vegetables and fruits, products like rice, wheat, lentils, grains, and leguminous produce will be available in the market. Also, produce like papads, pickles, kurdai, milk produce will be available in the market.

Around 40,000 pamphlets were distributed in the Kothrud region.

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