Udupi, June 26, 2018: To eliminate middlemen and provide a better return to farmers for their produce and to also make the produce available to customers at a reasonable price, the district administration plans to open a ‘raitha santhe’ (farmers market) at the Flower Auction Centre, Doddanagudde, here.
This weekly market will function on Thursdays. Farmers and farmers’ groups will have to register themselves and they will be given cards to participate in the market.
According to an estimate by the Horticulture Department, there are about two lakh farmers in Udupi district and nearly 25,000 are cultivating vegetables and fruits.
Of the 17 farmers groups in the district, only three cultivate vegetables.
“The advantage of the santhe is that farmers can sell their produce directly to consumers. There will be no middlemen and farmers will get more rates for their produce. The consumers too will get the vegetables at a lower price,” Guruprasad, Assistant Horticulture Officer stated.
“When we started the weekly organic market (Savayava Santhe) for farmers to sell organically cultivated vegetables here in October, 2017, there was a demand from other farmers for a platform to sell their produce. Hence we took the initiative to start the raitha santhe,” said Deputy Commissioner, Priyanka Mary Francis. “The santhe will help all farmers including those following the integrated method of cultivation. But we require at least 70 farmers/farmer groups to register to start it,” Guruprasad said.
Even farmers and groups from outside the district will be able to take part in the santhe. This is because not all vegetables are grown in the district.
The vegetables and fruits grown in the district are limited and include brinjal, okra, cucumber, yam, gherkins, pumpkin, ‘basale,’ banana and pineapple.
“But we depend on other districts for others like tomato, onion, potato, carrot, radish, beetroot, apple, pomegranate, grapes. If farmers and farmers groups participate from other districts, it will give customers a wider choice,” Guruprasad added.