The under-construction Veg Fed outlet at Ashok Nagar in Ranchi earlier this month. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Veggies — green, tasty and fresh — would soon be available in every state capital household, courtesy Jharkhand State Adivasi Co-operative Vegetable Marketing Federation Limited stalls that are scheduled to start operations this month.
The vegetable federation, aka Veg Fed, recently announced that they have nearly completed setting up three outlets, christened Veg Fresh stalls, that will start functioning at Ashok Nagar, Bariatu and near Sidho Kanhu Park before the end of this month.
The three outlets, out of the proposed 15 to be set up by the federation in Ranchi, are seeing construction work progressing on a war footing. While the outlet near Ashok Nagar is almost complete, officials said those at Bariatu and near Sido Kanhu Park will take another 15-20 days to be up and running.
Speaking to The Telegraph, managing director of Veg Fed R.N. Jha said the project was progressing according to plans and there were no hitches.
“More than 95 per cent work on the Veg Fresh outlet at Ashok Nagar, Road No. 4, has been completed. We hope to wrap up the remaining work soon too. Though I cannot give you a deadline, work on all the three outlets will be over by the end of this month,” Jha confirmed.
He added that they were looking to inaugurate the Ashok Nagar outlet as soon as possible so as to turn their promises into action. “Fresh fruits and vegetables, procured directly from the farms, will soon be a available in every household,” Jha said.
All the Veg Fresh outlets, which are coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 10 lakh each, will be air-conditioned and state-of-the-art.
Apart from this, the Veg Fed official said they were coming up with Apni Mandis, or basic vegetable collection centres in market places of various villages like Mandar, Chanho, Sons, Bero, Pithoria, Lohardaga, Jonha.
The mandis, they claimed, will collect the produce from the farmers at the best possible prices and help weed out middlemen.
“All the mandis will have sorting, grading, packaging and transportation facilities,” Jha said.
The vehicles, basically mini-trucks, used for ferrying the fresh vegetables from the collection centres to the Veg Fresh outlets will be known as Mobile Fresh units.
“We hope to spread wings in the coming years. Our aim is to supply fresh fruits and vegetables not only to every household in the state, but to those in Bengal and Odisha also,” the managing director said.
He added that in total they were looking to come up with Veg Fed outlets in 38 other places in the state, besides the 15 promised in Ranchi.
“Our target after Ranchi will be opening Veg Fresh outlets in cities like Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Dhanbad within this year,” Jha signed off.