Imagine a farmer celebrating his child’s birthday in an air-conditioned banquet hall, enjoying lunch in a food court and even taking a break in a plush hotel?
All this may become a reality very soon as the state government is planning to set up state-of-the-art one-stop agri-malls at around half a dozen places, including Lucknow.
Primarily, they will serve as a platform for farmers to sell their agri products and also buy goods of their use from the same place, but the agri malls will also provide various other modern facilities to them, including cold storage, processing and packing units.
Significantly, local artisans and craftsmen like carpenter, cobbler, iron smith, weaver, potter will also be allotted shops in the mall to promote their craft.
The banquet hall, where farmers can throw marriage or birthday parties like their urban counterparts, will be available to them on subsidised rates.
In addition, there will be a food court and a budget hotel where they can comfortably stay in the night, if they so wished.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Mandi Parishad director Anup Yadav said ultra-modern agri-malls had been planned one each for Lucknow, Mainpuri, Saifai, Jhansi and Chitrakoot.
“We have already got the design of the proposed malls prepared and begun the work with regard to identification of land etc,” Yadav said adding the project cost might go up to Rs. 60 crore depending on the size of the mall.
“Agri malls are chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s pet project and we are trying to execute it in the best possible manner,” he said.
Sources, however, said finding and acquiring suitable land for setting such malls was becoming a problem at some places.
“We already have acquired land in Vibhuti Khand in Lucknow but there may be some hitches at some other places,” an engineer in the Mandi Parishad disclosed.