In an effort to regulate rising price of vegetables,the governments initiative farmer to consumer has received a good response in the past 50 days,after the programme began on August 6. With a turnover of Rs 50 lakh during this period,the Maharashtra State Agriculture and Marketing Board stated that consumers and farmers were satisfied with the initiative.
The scheme that was inaugurated by agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil,has seen nearly 1.44-lakh kg of vegetables being sold,while there was a sale of 66,306-kg leafy vegetables at Market Yard.
The entire sale has generated about Rs 50.51 lakh in this period, said officials from the state marketing board managing the Pune branch.
At present,there are five branches at Market Yard,where vegetables are sold from Monday to Friday. Owing to the good response,officials said they were planning to begin five more centres. The initiative was to have farmers sell vegetables to consumers directly. The concept of middlemen was done away with.
The proposal to roll out the initiative soon in societies is also being mooted. The initiative to check rising prices of vegetables and set up such centres was introduced in the state on January 1.
The marketing board had provided farmers space to sell their vegetables,along with free electricity and iron stands. Board members said 400 societies of the city would participate in the initiative. The farmers will be given subsidy to open kiosks or buy vans to sell vegetables.
The minister had stated that the programme was started to regularise prices,as it was learnt that retail outlets sold vegetables almost 20 per cent more than the actual price,due to middlemen. As many as 80 societies had confirmed that they were willing to start the programme on their premises. The board has created six zones for Pune and appointed 24 officers to conduct a detailed survey of societies and corporation land that can be used for the purpose.
We are working with corporation officials for NOCs,while some farmers have agreed to sell their produce directly through kiosks that can be set up. We are also encouraging them to have vans for the purpose. Subsidy will be given to the farmers, said an official of the marketing board.
The government is also encouraging farmers to set up retail outlets,for which they will be given a subsidy of up to Rs 4 lakh. In Mumbai,the government had roped in a wholesalers federation to procure vegetables from collection centres of the state-run Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) to get the scheme under way. Super markets like Apna Bazar and Sahakari Bhandar volunteered to supply vegetables.