You will soon get a fair price outlet for vegetable and fruits in your neighbourhood. To cut down on the elongated supply chain for vegetable and fruits, huge profiteering of traders, wholesalers, agents and retailers, the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) is planning to open more than 60 fair price outlets with the help of cooperatives and private players by the end of March.
This means consumers will be able to buy their vegetable and fruits at a lesser price compared to retailers or vendors. In addition to this, the state is also planning to open a weekly market in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
While in the weekly market, the price of commodities is fixed by farmers keeping in mind retail prices, at daily retail outlets, it will be fixed by a committee comprising farmers, MSAMB officials and representative of retail outlets so that a reasonable profit margin is earned at all levels.
“The weekly market will be operated once a week at different locations on a large scale and will involve many farmer groups. Contrary to this, fair-price retail outlets will be small scale and will involve departmental stores and retailers to ensure a regular supply of veggies to urban consumers,” said Chandrakant Patil, minister of co-operation, marketing and textile, public works (excluding public undertakings)
However, cooperative stores claimed this will not work unless the state invests in cold storages, refrigerated vehicles and store rooms.
“Such daily schemes will not work unless the state supports it with infrastructure like cold storage and refrigerated vehicles. The retail outlets should be taken into confidence if the state wants to involve them, factors like preserving, disposing of vegetables and losses incurred in the process should be also discussed,” said Sanjay Shetye, chairman, Sahakari Bhandar, a cooperative store.