To ensure they run seven days a week, cold storages to be set up in krishak bazaars
Kolkata: The state government is encouraging setting up of multi-purpose cold storages and packaging plants in krishak bazaars to ensure that it runs on all the seven days a week.
It may be mentioned that in the state-level Administrative Review Meeting, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had directed the Agriculture Marketing department to take immediate measures to make sure that all krishak bazaars in the state functions properly.
The initiative to set up krishak bazaars in districts was taken up after the change of guard in the state to facilitate farmers by creating a permanent place where they can directly sell their produce without the help of any middlemen.
Despite the fact that krishak bazaars were built based on a unique design with all sorts of facilities, most remain functional only for a day or two in a week. This has come up as a serious cause of concern and the Chief Minister has directed immediate steps in this regard.
At present, more than 100 krishak bazaars remain operational only for a day or two in a week with only 56 remaining open for all seven days a week.
On Wednesday, the krishak bazaar at Sabang in West Midnapore was opened and all steps have been taken to keep it functional for all seven days a week.
Sources said that as a measure to make all the krishak bazaars operational for all seven days a week, the state agriculture marketing department is encouraging private entrepreneurs to set up multi-purpose cold storages within the premises of krishak bazaars.
Setting up of multi-purpose cold storage will immensely help farmers in preserving their produce. It will encourage farmers to start using the space of krishak bazaars for all seven days a week as they don't have to incur losses for perished vegetables.
"Once they get the facility of multi-purpose cold storages, farmers would always prefer krishak bazaars to sell their produce since such facility will not be available elsewhere," said an official.
There will be separate chambers in a multi-purpose cold storage with different temperature and humidity. It allows storage of different types of perishable goods.
At the same time packaging units will also be helpful for farmers as to export their produce, packaging can be done under one roof.
Sources said that the state government will extend all support to private entrepreneurs to set up multi-purpose cold storages in krishak bazaars.
Following instructions of the Chief Minister, senior officials of the department has initiated a process to identify the krishak bazaars which can be made functional for all seven days at the earliest. Gradually it will be done in all the krishak bazaars. It may be mentioned that initiative has already been taken to develop two model krishak bazaars at Bishnupur II and Baruipur in South 24-Parganas.