Horticulture Department launches project in city

Bangaloreans will now have the option of buying fresh vegetables and fruits from sophisticated mobile outlets at their doorstep. The Horticulture Department on Thursday launched vegetable vans that are specially designed sales outlets with inbuilt shelves and display facility. The Horticulture Department has launched 21 vans with each of them having the capacity to carry 500 kg of farm produce. G.V. Krishna Rau, Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner, inaugurated the mobile sales unit on the sidelines of an exhibition organised by the Horticulture Department in Bangalore on Thursday.

The mobile sales outlets will be operated by private agencies in different parts of the city depending upon the need and the response it gets from customers. The centrally sponsored pilot project aims at organising farmers as growers groups and link them to markets through private agencies so that they get remunerative prices for their produce.

Horticulture Department Joint Director K.M. Parashiva Murthy told The Hindu that the department had facilitated formation of 13 Farmers’ Produce Organisations (FPOs), crop-based growers’ groups comprising 50 to 100 members each from Hoskote, Anekal and Kolar. Incidentally, the Union government has declared 2014-15 as the year of FPOs.

The farmers’ groups will plan cultivation of crops in consultation with the Department of Horticulture. “Farmers are now getting only about 38 per cent of the price being paid by consumers as the majority of the profit is cornered by middlemen. Our aim is to avoid middlemen so that farmers get remunerative prices for their produce,” he said.

According to him, the private agency that sells produce to consumers in vans would give remunerative prices to farmers, and the burden on the company will also reduce as it buys the produce directly from farmers.

Pointing out that setting up a shop in Bangalore is a costly affair, he said the mobile sales outlet is a cheaper option. In addition to farmers getting remunerative prices, the selling price for consumers in the mobile outlet would also be marginally lesser than the regular outlets.

Horticulture Director D.L. Maheshwar Rao was present..

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