The ‘Farm Fresh Vegetables on Wheels’ launched by the Department of Horticulture involving clusters of farmers and farming entrepreneurs is catching up with the citizens of the city welcoming it.
The state-wide programme launched on March 18 in the city had been formulated with farmers groups in a village formed into a cluster. The farmers in the cluster supply freshly harvested vegetables to the Horticulture entrepreneurs who are either from among the families of the farmers or an outsider, who collects vegetables in the early hours of each day from the vegetable farms and carry them in his specially designed mobile vegetable sales outlet given by the department of Horticulture.
The posh looking mobile outlet is given on a subsidy of Rs.2 lakh out of a total cost of Rs.5.3 lakh. A loudspeaker is fitted to the vehicle and a recorded message announces the arrival of the vehicle at the residential colonies. The entrepreneur brings the vegetables to the city by 9 a.m. to the designated residential localities.
One of the entrepreneurs selected by the department Nagi Reddy Sathyanarayana told The Hindu that he hailed from Adduru village in Chodavaram mandal. He is also a vegetable farmer and part of the cluster of farmers in his village. Nagi Reddy sells vegetables in the posh residential colony of Waltair Uplands and is quite happy with the success of the scheme.
Local resident Mercy Paul, a regular customer at the outlet said that she was very happy with the quality of vegetables. They are fresh and fine. The prices appear to be higher than Rythu Bazzar but the vegetables are arriving at our doorstep, she adds.
As the mobile outlet arrives women can be seen grabbing the fresh vegetables.
Rama Devi welcomed the new initiative of the government saying that she was happy for two things – one, that the vegetables were fresh, and the other was their proximity to their home. On prices she said that she did not compare but did not mind paying a little more if the two positive factors are not compromised with.
Another customer Raju felt that price list of vegetables should be displayed at the counter. There will be huge demand for these mobile outlets, especially city outskirts if quality is maintained, he added. Assistant Director Horticulture G. Prabhakar Rao told The Hindu that two mobile outlets have been pressed into service on a pilot basis. Two more vehicles would be arriving in the city shortly.