The state Co-operation department has set up a centre of Sufala at Chisurah in Hooghly to help residents of the area get fresh vegetables and fruits at a reasonable price compared to an open market.
Arup Roy, the state co-operation minister, inaugurated the centre on Tuesday. Tapan Dasgupta, the state agriculture marketing minister and the local MLA Asit Majumder were present in the inaugural programme.
Roy said that the initiative to set up such shops has been taken for two basic reasons. First of all, people will get fresh vegetables and fruits at a reasonable price.
At the same time, farmers would get the right price for their produce and a good market as well. “The project to set up Safala outlets was inspired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” he said.
With the setting up of the Sufala centre at Chinsurah, the total number of such outlets has gone up to 20.
If everything goes as planned, the number of such outlets will get doubled in the next few years.
The Sufala outlet of above 500 square feet at Chinsurah has been set up in such a location on a major thoroughfare so that it would be easily accessible to the people.
The inauguration of the outlet just ahead of Durga Puja would add to its grandeur and it is being presumed that the sale of the vegetables in the outlet would be up higher during Puja compared to that of other days.
The move to set up similar type of outlets was taken by Roy when he was the state agriculture marketing minister in the first term of Mamata Banerjee’s government. The initiative had given a new dimension to marketing of farmers’ produce.
After taking up the responsibility of the state’s co-operation minister, Roy continued taking initiatives to set up more such outlets called Sufala so that maximum people in different parts of the state could derive the benefit.
An innovative process has been introduced to operate the outlets smoothly and at the same time help farmers from the region.
Registered Farmers Producers Organisers (FPOs) have been formed which are comprised of several farmers from respective area. Farmers would directly take their produce to the outlets where they could sell it at a right price.
Thus, there is no question of selling their produce by incurring any loss. It may be mentioned that it had been the one-point-agenda of the Trinamool Congress to help farmers make maximum profit by selling their produce.
In a bid to do so kishan mandis were constructed and storage capacity in the state has been increased manifold in the past five years.