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Tuesday, Jul 02, 2002

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Steps to improve rythu bazaar functioning in AP

Ch. Prashanth Reddy


THE Marketing Department of Andhra Pradesh has come out with a strategy to improve the functioning of rythu bazaars (farmers' markets), which have been established by the State Government to eliminate middlemen in the sale of agricultural produce, particularly vegetables.

Rythu bazaars provide a platform for farmers to sell their produce directly to the consumers. The Department's strategy aims at a four-fold increase in the number of vegetable growers in villages. The staff of rythu bazaars and agriculture market committees (AMCs) will be entrusted with the task of identifying vegetable growers in villages, providing them extension services and facilitating transport and sale of their produce at rythu bazaars.

As per the strategy, a calendar of activities shall be worked out for each rythu bazaar and a plan of action shall be finalised accordingly. The estate officers and secretaries of AMCs will be responsible for input supply, extension services and training programmes.

The marketing strategy also envisages home delivery of vegetables in urban areas, particularly in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Warangal and Guntur. Vegetables shall be weighed, packed and taken for sale in multi-storeyed buildings, according to the department.

Currently, there are a total of 102 rythu bazaars spread across the State. The weekly arrivals of vegetables into these rythu bazaars last month stood at 1.19 lakh tonnes generating a turnover of Rs 8.44 crore.

However, according to the Director of Marketing, Mr V. M. Manohara Prasad, some of the rythu bazaars, were not functioning like expected.

The five best rythu bazaars in Krishna, Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts together account for weekly arrivals of 47, 600 quintals of vegetables worth Rs 2.79 crore. Nearly 2000 farmers are using these rythu bazaars to sell their produce.

The four most weak rythu bazaars are in Visakhapatnam, Guntur and Prakasam districts where weekly arrivals of vegetables is mere 296 quintals valued at Rs 1.91 lakh. The number of farmers attending these bazaars is also as low as 47.

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