150 more vegetable fair-price outlets in January
The state agricultural marketing department will open 150 new Sufal Bangla outlets, including 100 in Calcutta and its outskirts, in January in an effort to increase the procurement of vegetables from growers at a fair price and push the retail sale of vegetables and fruits at minimum market price.
The 100 apart, 25 Sufal Bangla outlets will operate from south Bengal and another 25 from north Bengal.
“The extra 150 Sufal Bangla stalls will help the purchasers and farmers. We will also set up three procurement points to store and assemble purchased vegetables from growers, and for transport to outlets. The new outlets will be inaugurated by chief minister Mamata Banerjee very soon,” said a senior agriculture marketing official.
Sources said the three procurement points would be set up in Singur, Bankura and in a north Bengal district.
Sources said the move will help the government to woo a larger number of vegetable producers in the state ahead of the panchayat polls when growers allege they don’t get fair prices.
“We can’t claim all vegetable growers will benefit from the scheme but a large number will be reached through this venture,” said an official.
“There is a huge demand for Sufal Bangla outlets in both static and mobile modes in the city and its outskirts. So we will run 100 out of 150 outlets in this high-demand zone. The vegetables and fruits produced by farmers from Hooghly, Howrah and South 24-Parganas will be sold from those 100 stalls,” said an official.
Bengal currently has 332 Sufal Bangla stalls.
However, the number is set to touch 500 once the fresh outlets start operations.
Setting up Sufal Bangla outlets was the brainchild of chief minister Mamata Banerjee in 2014, when 14 Sufal Bangla stalls came up for the first time following a hike in the market price of potatoes.
Sources said that this initiative was a supply chain management process geared to ensure that “the right product is in the right place and at the right price”.