Implement shop at Navoor competes with Belthangady market rates

Annappa Salian, a farmer from Karinja in Belthangady taluk, was busy examining pipes at a new shop for agriculturists in Navoor, 3 km from his farm. Mr. Salian, who grows arecanut and rice, said, “for everything, I come here. Otherwise, I have to go all the way to Belthangady (more than 10 km away for him). Here, they give bill. In Belthangady, they say one thing and give another, and I have to pay “pete rate” (city rates, more expensive).”

The “one-stop-shop” for agricultural implements was set up three months ago by Bangadi Agriculture Cooperative Society, a primary agricultural co-operative society, with financial help from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard). It aims at serving agriculturists growing arecanut, coconut and rubber in the 4,000-strong Navoor village, 9 km from Belthangady, A.B. Umesh, Chief Executive Officer, Bangadi Agriculture Cooperative Society, told The Hindu.

The shop sells fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, cement, pump-sets and pipes for irrigation, and agricultural implements such as spades and shovels, coconut husking and rubber tapping implements, and firewood choppers. It stores tarpaulin sheets, water storage tanks, storage barrels and agriculture accessories such as sprinklers, jerrycans, paints, gums, shellac, bulbs and torches. It has buckets for milk collection, baskets for carrying loads, nylon rope for tethering cows, dog chains, and hardware for carpentry beside basic household requirements.

N. Lakshmana Gowda, president, Bangadi Co-operative Agriculture Society, said, “Instead of people going far, they can buy all these things at one place itself.”

The shop was set up as agriculturists lost a whole day and spend money on bus tickets to travel to Belthangady for agricultural purchases. Everything is billed at the shop, unlike in some shops in Belthangady, he said.

“We are competing with the Belthangady market rates,” he said. The prices of goods at the shop are the same as the market in Belthangady or lower. For instance, a 50 kg cement bag is sold at the shop for Rs. 359 versus Rs.362 in the market. The lower price was made possible since the shop bought it at a wholesale quantity from the company. The shop did sales of Rs. 2.39 lakh in March, said Mr. Umesh.

Bangadi Agriculture Cooperative Society took a loan of Rs. 24 lakh at 10.5 per cent rate of interest to be repaid over the next six years, and a one-time grant of Rs.1.49 lakh, both from Nabard, said N. Lakshmana Gowda, president, Bangadi Co-operative Agriculture Society. Harish Salian, a farmer in Morthaje, 2 km from Navoor village, said he required copper sulphate and lime for arecanut, which was sold at the shop at market rates. Joseph, agriculturist, Navoor, said he buys fertilizers at the shop to avoid the travel to Belthangady.

Prasad Rao, Assistant General Manager, Nabard said, “It is a new scheme and the societies are best positioned to speak to farmers. ”

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