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Street vegetable markets to be a regular feature

Three locations have been identified for the initiative in the first stage

Thrilled by the public response to the temporary outlets opened during Onam, the Agriculture Department is set to make street markets for vegetables a regular feature in the capital city.

Three locations have been identified for the initiative in the first stage—Kuravankonam, Vazhuthacaud and Vanchiyoor. The markets will serve as platforms for farmer clusters that are part of the department’s vegetable promotion programmes to directly sell their produce to city residents.

Initially, the markets will be held as weekly, fortnightly, or monthly affairs, depending on the demand, Principal Agricultural Officer (Thiruvananthapuram) George Alexander says.

Street markets are being created as part of the government’s market intervention strategies under the mission-mode ‘Jeevani’ vegetable cultivation programme and the ‘Subhiksha Keralam’ food security project.

The Agriculture Department will identify a suitable location and help the farmers tie up with residents’ associations and the local body concerned. In due course, the department hopes to increase the number of such outlets in the city area as part of creating more markets for agricultural produce.

“Undoubtedly, the city is the biggest market in the region. Through such markets, the farmers can forge direct tie-ups with the local residents. This would ensure them better prices for their produce, avoid pilferage and reduce dependence on intermediaries. For city residents, these markets will increase their access to farm-fresh veggies,” Mr. Alexander says.

The overwhelming response to a ‘Farmer’s Market’ organised on the Kowdiar-Kuravankonam road in August and the five-day Onam vegetable outlet at Vazhuthacaud encouraged the department to make the street markets a regular feature. The Ecoshop in Anad organised the event in Kuravankonam with the help of the residents’ association at Kowdiar. Sales touched ₹35,000 in just two-and-a-half hours, according to agriculture officials. The Onam market at Vazhuthacaud was organised from August 26 to 30. Daily sales had crossed ₹1 lakh at this outlet.

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