For those who have no time to shop, or those too old and infirm to venture out on their own, going to the market for vegetables may soon be a thing of the past. The government will engage salespeople to sell packaged vegetables from door to door, in different parts of the city, beginning this winter. So, residents of Ballygunge, Salt Lake, New Alipore and Jadavpur, among others, can expect a weekly delivery at the doorstep.
Spurred on by the response to its sale of flowers from home to home, the West Bengal State Food Processing and Horticulture Development Corporation plans to use the same infrastructure to sell vegetables. “We are targeting affluent households. Moreover, working couples would welcome this service,” said N. Hazra, corporation managing director.
The government has already engaged 30 unemployed women and men for the purpose. “Since vegetables are a necessity, we thought of using the same infrastructure, so that the same youths marketing the flowers, known as pushpaparisevaks, can sell another product simultaneously,” said an official of the corporation.
The vegetables, though packaged (but not frozen), will be at market rates. “The supply will initially come from the three acres of government farmland at Krishnagar, in Hooghly district, where farmers have already started growing various kinds of vegetables,” he added.
Hazra said the quality of the packaged vegetables would be better than those available in the market, as the government’s produce is grown out of “improved-quality seeds”. The vegetables will be cleaned before packing.
“We are also in talks with an organisation that sells milk and milk products through several outlets in the city. We intend to make our packaged vegetables available from these outlets, too. There will also be a counter at our Mayukh Bhavan office, in Salt Lake,” Hazra added.