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Markfed rakes in sales, meets yearly targets for some products

Cooperative moved fast to ensure minimum disruption to production during lockdown; for supply to rural areas, it used its village cooperatives network and for urban segment, it delivered door-to-door through delivery apps
Hindustan Times, Patiala | By Vishal Rambani, Patiala
PUBLISHED ON APR 18, 2020 10:12 PM IST

With traders slipping into losses amid lockdown/curfew in the state, Markfed, a state-run cooperative organisation, has stepped in big time, resulting in record sales for itself as well as providing relief to consumers. This institutional supplier has continued to meet demand through its robust network of cooperative societies in villages, while also ensuring door-to-door supplies to consumers in urban areas, after executing agreements with delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy.

For some commodities, it has managed to sell more than its annual sale in just the 25 days of the lockdown so far (March 23 to April 17). In pulses, it has already sold 230 tonne against its average monthly sale of 6.5 tonne (75 tonne annual).

“Unlike others, Markfed did not exploit the situation and increase rates. Over the past 25 days, we have achieved more sale than our annual target in some categories. Pulses were purchased by every rural society, and even in urban areas,” said Varun Roojam, managing director, Markfed.

On what worked, Roojam, who has previously headed many districts as deputy commissioner, added, “As soon as the lockdown was announced, we focused on running our factories, as they were covered under essential commodities. We engaged with district administrations for issue of curfew passes for labour and transport vehicles to ensure our supply chain faced minimum disruption. The marketing team contributed by agreements with Zomato, Swiggy etc. We also used our village cooperative network.”

This focus has yielded sweet dividend, as against its targeted sale of 84 tonne of sugar a year, it has already sold 200 tonne of the commodity in the lockdown.

Markfed supplies to PGI, police canteens, para-military canteens, the National Institute of Sports Academy, jails, for mid-day meal scheme to the social welfare department, to primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) in rural sector and even to private distributors.

Cattle feed some solace for farmers

With shortage of cattle feed a major issue for farmers, Markfed increased its supply as well. During the period under lockdown, it has sold 4,340 tonne cattle-feed, an increase of 25% over its average monthly sale of 3,260 tonne, Roojam added.

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