The month-long Simhastha fair in Ujjain will come as a boon for farmers and milk producers in the region as consumption of vegetables, fruits and milk will multiply. The Madhya Pradesh government is making arrangements for providing daily ration to lakhs of sadhus who will be camping in Ujjain during the entire duration of the fair. Lakhs of devotees will be also visiting the holy town every day leading to a spike in demand of essential food commodities.
“We have set a target of 1,500 hectares of land for growing vegetables of different varieties out of which sowing has already been done on about 1,000 hectares,” deputy director (horticulture) PS Kanel told HT.
“Around 4,500 farmers are involved in this initiative, and the government has sanctioned a grant of Rs 20,000 per hectare for providing hybrid seeds, fertilizers and fungicides,” he said. The farmers are growing crops of early ripening varieties such as okra, sponge gourd, bitter gourd, cabbage and also chilly. The horticulture department conducted a training workshop for the farmers who have enrolled for the project.
To ensure smooth supply of vegetables, the government has prepared a block-wise directory of the farmers with their numbers and provided it to the akhadas where the sadhus will be staying.
“It feels good to be making some contribution towards Simhastha fair. The prices of the vegetables will be in accordance with the local market rates,” Dinesh Patidar, a farmer, told HT.
Ujjain milk federation has drawn up plans to ensure adequate supply of milk and milk products during Simhastha. The federation will appoint zone-wise milk distributors with each zone having more than 100 makeshift Sanchi milk parlours. “The federation has assessed a demand of 60,000 litres of milk daily on normal days and 1 lakh litres milk on the day of Shahi Sanan (royal bath),” federation CEO JR Daruwala said.
PLANS TO BOOST VEGETABLE, MILK SUPPLY
1,500 hectares for growing vegetables of different kinds
4,500 farmers included in project
Rs 20,000 grant per hectare
Zone-wise milk distributors appointed
60,000 litres milk supply daily