It will have wholesale and retail outlets besides processing facilities

Dakshina Kannada District Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing Society (Hopcoms) is constructing a procurement-cum-sale centre at Padil here under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana of the Union government. It is expected to be ready in three months, according to its Managing Director Joe Pradeep D’Souza.

The centre would procure vegetables, fruits, and coconut from farmers in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and other neighbouring districts. It would sell them in wholesale and retail, Mr. D’Souza told The Hindu.

Farmers who cultivated vegetables in small quantity could sell them to the DK Hopcoms at the centre. If any farmer wanted to sell coconuts in large quantity to the society, it would arrange for transport, he said.

The centre would have a ripening chamber and a cold storage, each of five-tonne capacity, a sorting hall, an office, and an air-conditioned model retail outlet. The centre was being built at an estimated cost of Rs. 40 lakh, Mr. D’Souza said.

He said in the ripening chamber fruits such as banana, mango, and sapota would be ripened. Ethylene gas would be used for ripening of fruits.

Mr. D’Souza claimed that it was a harmless way of ripening fruits which required four days for ripening when the gas was used.

The Managing Director, who was also the Assistant Director at the Department of Horticulture here, said the DK Hopcoms would open a retail outlet on the premises of Raita Samparka Kendra of the Department of Agriculture at Surathkal. The society would enter into an agreement with the Department of Agriculture before opening the outlet. The society lost two of its retail outlets for road-widening work at Bejai-Kapikad and at Bikarnakatta. It now had 14 retail outlets. Of them, two were in Udupi. It supplied vegetables to government hostels in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, he said.

The society’s turnover was Rs. 6.11 crore in 2011-12 and its net profit was Rs. 13 lakh during the same year.

It distributed 2,000 vegetable storing crates among farmers at subsidised rates in the last financial year.

It had given spot billing machines to all its retail outlets, he said.

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