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Pune, May 8

A modern permanent facility to serve as a platform for promotion of `farmer-to-consumer' direct marketing concept is to be established in the city.

This was stated by Mr Harshvardhan Patil, State Minister for Marketing and Employment Guarantee Scheme, at the concluding ceremony of the five-day mango festival in the city.

Mr Patil said the facility would be located at the premises of the Pune Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) at Gultekadi and added that the National Horticulture Board (NHB) and the State APMC would be involved in the set up.

He, however, said the facility was not meant only for mango, but would be used for promoting other fruits grown in the State.

Exports to US

Mr Patil said the State would be exporting about 35 tonnes of mangoes this year and would make its presence in the US with a small quantity of about five tonnes.

According to Dr R. Kharache, Executive Director of the Maharashtra

State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), the five-day festival has recorded a turnover of more than Rs 2 crore.

Last year, the turnover had been Rs 2.5 crore while pointing out that the reason for the fall in turnover was to be identified.

Permanent platform

Mr Patil said this showed the acute need for a permanent platform.

The city has been witnessing huge take homes of Alphonso mangoes.

The supply has increased to 25,000 boxes. But according to the traders, there is a shortage of ripe fruits and the consumers are now taking the other varieties of mangoes such as thotapuri, lalbaug, pyari and malgoa.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 9, 2006)
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