An array of rural products, artefacts at affordable rates

: The Poverty Alleviation Unit of the district panchayat will conduct the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)/Swarnajayanthi Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) Onam trade fair at the Municipal Town Hall here from August 23 to 27.

The fair aims at marketing products produced by self-help groups from rural areas. The absence of middlemen will make it possible to sell goods at affordable prices, said D. Johnson, project director, PAU, at a press conference here on Saturday.

An array of rural products and artefacts, including handicrafts, pottery, clothes, footwear, planting materials, electronic goods, bamboo, bronze and iron merchandise, coir produces, vegetables, seeds, Ayurvedic products, fertilizers, furniture, oil and other eatables will be exhibited at the fair. This year, products valued at over Rs.1 crore will be put up for sale at the fair, which is one of the

largest events organised by the Rural Development Department. Hundreds of SHGs from 11 development blocks of the district will take part in the fair. The organisers have projected a turnover of Rs.. 50 lakh.

Coupons will be given for every purchase above Rs.250. Three prizes will be given to the winners of the draw, while a bumper prize will be presented on the concluding day of the fair.

Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan will inaugurate the fair on August 24. A.P. Abdullakkutty, MLA, will preside over the function.

Two special pavilions of the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) and Rural Development will be put up at the fair, which will be inaugurated by district panchayat president K.A.

Sarala and municipal chairperson M.C. Sreeja respectively.