In its first major retail offensive in years, the UP State Agro Industrial Corporation Ltd is in the process of setting up a series of Agri Marts across Uttar Pradesh.
The Agri Marts are typically rural malls which cater to the needs of the farmers looking for an entire package of farm implements, seeds, fertilisers, tractors and veterinary products available from a centralised shopping facility. These malls are being planned to extend the rural reach of a slew of agro-based products being manufactured by UP State Agro Industrial Corporation in the State.
The first such Agri Mart became operational in Hardoi on January 20 with two more retail formats being planned in Hapur and Gorakhpur during the current fiscal year.
The corporation has plans to establish a mega retail format for farmers in every district of the State after assessing the response to its first Agri Mart in Hardoi.
The rural malls are also being established with the objective of taking on competition from Kisan Seva Kendras (KSKs) currently being established by the public sector oil marketing companies across the State. The KSKs have a wider range of products being sold which include diesel for irrigation pumps, stationery and lanterns besides credit facilities from leading banks in the country.
“We are setting up the Agri Marts to compete with the retail formats being established by the DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd (DSCL) under the “Haryali Kisan Brand” and ITC’s e-Choupal across the State. The farm implements and other agricultural inputs required by the farmers being manufactured by UP State Agro Industrial Corporation have a higher brand recall in the rural areas which is an added advantage”, Managing Director of UP State Agro Industrial Corporation N S Kushwaha told Hindustan Times.
He said that the corporation was looking for a meaningful tie-up with NAFED not only to fund its future retailing plans but also to help the national agricultural marketing body popularise its products through rural malls in Uttar Pradesh.
The retail formats such as Agri Marts were necessary for popularising farm-based products which were manufactured by the corporation with the convenience of selling them from a centralised place, Kushwaha added.
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