Govt mulls agro hubs as platform to showcase farmers’ varied produce
In an ambitious move, the agriculture ministry has been mulling retail agriculture produce markets where farmers would have an opportunity to display processed items. Keeping in mind the goal of doubling farmers’ income, the move has been initiated as it will provide a platform for farmers to showcase their varied range products ranging from fresh vegetables, cereals, poultry products to spices, etc.
According to official sources, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has asked officials to prepare a detailed project report for establishing agricultural hubs wherein all those facilities would be available for framers that are there in any mega retail store being operated by corporate giants.
“The idea behind such agricultural hubs is to provide right price to farmers as in the absence of any platform for farmers to sell their produce at reasonable price, they are bound to sell their processed items at nearby weekly haats (local markets),” the source said.
At the initial stage, the ministry would establish agricultural hubs in National Capital Regions, which includes Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon. The agricultural hubs would be different from mandis and officials have been directed to make operational first such agricultural hub before February next year, prior to Uttar Pradesh going for assembly polls.
The official source further said, “The project is in beginning stage. Concerned officials are brainstorming over giving final shape to the idea being conceived by the agriculture minister. The move is one among several other measures to double the income of farmers and generate employment in the allied sector.”
Explaining about the functioning of the model, the source said, “It would be developed and operated on public private partnership (PPP), wherein major stake would of government to safeguard the interests of farmers. It would have a big supply chain on the lines of Wal-Mart stores.”
Notably, Wal-Mart stores are a multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores and grocery stores as multi-retail store.