iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, November 27, 2013
Come December you will get good quality potatoes delivered at your doorstep at government rate. Amicus Healthcare Services and Solutions, an agro-based company, with its infrastructure of a chain of integrated cold storage facility, is now venturing into online marketing of fruits, vegetables, groceries and dairy products in the city from the next month with wholesale prices for all products.

“We are looking at starting the operations by December 7. The integrated cold storage chain will have 11 refrigerated vehicles with controlled temperature and a foodprocessing unit. The agricultural products will be procured directly from the farmers and we will make them available to our customers at wholesale rates,” said Saibal Ganguly, managing director of the agro company.

The cash-on-delivery facility will also provide customers a chance to buy other vegetables at wholesale rates like bottle gourd (lau) at R20/kg, onions at R50/kg, cabbage at Rs35/kg.

Apart from vegetables, branded milk products, butter and other groceries like flour, oil etc would also be available on this platform.

With an initial investment of Rs22 crore, including Rs4.5crore aid from the Union ministry of food processing, Amicus is looking at starting of with receiving orders and supplying goods at every doorstep in the city.

“We also have plans to start similar facilities in the urban hubs like Durgapur and Siliguri. The concept would not work in the rural setup,” said Ganguly.

A service charge of Rs25 would be charged on a billing amount of below Rs500, while, the aged, who find it difficult to walk upto the markets and buy vegetables, would not have to pay any service charge and can place orders over the phone, instead of logging on to the website.

“The concept is to take the products directly from the farm to the customers, thus providing it at cheaper rates and in the best of conditions,” said Ganguly, who is hopeful of the new concept picking up on popularity in the city.

The Mograhat cold storage facility will be operational from January, when the company would be able to store their procured goods.

On another note, Arup Roy, minister in-charge, department of agricultural marketing, said the state government is already building the Krishi Bazaars in 95 blocks of the state and 81 other markets are coming up in another 81 blocks.

“Out of the total 341 blocks, work on 95 of them have already started and another 81 have been identified and would be completed soon,” said Roy at the website launch of Amicus.