Chandigarh: Amid a raging debate over the
benefits of 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail for growers,
farmers in Punjab have proposed to foray into the vegetable
retail business by launching their own retail operations to
fetch remunerative returns.
A clutch of farmers have stepped on cooperative movement
by setting up a Global Healthy Vegetables Marketing
Cooperative Society which would undertake vegetable farming
through net house cultivation technology on large scale in
certain pockets and carry out retailing of produce.
"Our main motive of setting up the society is to put
more money into the hands of farmers and offer quality produce
to consumers at cheaper rates.
And it is possible through
launching our own retail operations by eliminating
intermediaries in supply chain," Global Healthy Vegetables
Marketing Cooperative Society, MD, J S Sangh said.
In first of its type in Punjab, Global Healthy
Marketing Vegetables Cooperative Society has been set up with
a seed capital of Rs 10 lakh each by 10 farmers.
Currently, the society is examining three retail
options to find out which is the best one. ?We are discussing
whether we open our own outlets or put hawkers or carts into
service. We are also in talks with Indian Oil for starting our
retail at its fuel outlets,? he said.
In the initial phase, the society would start its
retail service at Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Chandigarh. ?In
second phase we will look at whole Punjab and Delhi for
selling our crop,? he said.
According to society, farmers could earn Rs 1 lakh per
acre from growing and retailing vegetables against income of
Rs 20,000-25,000 per acre from traditional crops like paddy,
As per the proposed plan, the society will rope in
over 800 small and marginal farmers from districts like
Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Nawanshahar for
cultivation of vegetables.
?We will also encourage net-house cultivation of
vegetables in which minimum of pesticide is used to grow high
quality crops which will fetch higher returns,? he said adding
that about 400 net houses would be set up for vegetable
The society has already taken 10 pack houses and
ripening chambers on lease for vegetables. He said there is a
plan also to sell few fruits like papaya, banana and mango
sourced from other states.