The state agriculture marketing department will be introducing a cell phone app to ensure home delivery of vegetables from all outlets of Sufal Bangla which would come up by the end of March 2017. The department has set a target of setting up around 80 outlets across the state by this fiscal.
The step to introduce the cell phone app for home-delivery has been taken after the system helped the Sufal Bangla outlet at New Alipore augment its everyday turnover manifold. The outlet at New Alipore, which was inaugurated in July, is the only one in the state where order could be placed for home delivery of vegetables either over the phone or by logging into the website of Sufal Bangla.
Besides setting up outlets at all crucial points in the state, the agriculture marketing department has gone a step ahead to help people in placing orders through their smart phones using the app. Thus it is just a matter of a few months when people residing within 2 to 3 km of an outlet could place orders by using all three means – phone, website and the app that will be launched.
Tapan Dasgupta, the state agriculture marketing minister, said: “Our aim is to help people get fresh vegetables at the doorsteps and in a bid to make it a reality, the department is going to use all sorts of updated technology.”
According to an official of the department, at present there are 8 outlets of Sufal Bangla including 6 in Kolkata and its outskirts. One is in Singur and other one in is Bolpur. The department has urged all District Magistrates to identify locations for 5 Sufal Bangla stalls in each district. “If I consider that at least 3 on an average come up in a district, then there will be 57 stalls across the state by the end of March 2017. At the same time decision has been taken to set up stalls in 16 residential complexes of the state Housing Department,” said the official.
The residential complexes of Housing department where the outlets would come up are in Kolkata, Barasat, Krishnagar, Kalyani and Howrah. One has already come up in the residential complex at Gariahat. The agriculture marketing department is funding the project of setting up the outlets at the housing complexes and housing department is developing the same.
The official said that the setting up of the outlets would not only benefit the residents of the housing complexes, but people residing in the vicinity could also buy the products available in the outlets.
Citing an example, the official said that 500 people of a residential complex will get benefitted and at the same time another 100 people in the locality will also derive the benefit.
The app will be introduced after setting up of most of the outlets and a Central government organisation has been given the charge of developing the app.
Earlier meat and milk products were available in the outlets. But Sufal Bangla has gone for collaboration with the State Fisheries Development Corporation to make fishes available in the outlets.
Vegetables, fruits, milk-products, fishes and meat is available at reasonable price set by the department. Thus people get fresh vegetables from the outlets at cheaper price than they are available in open markets.