Organic food at city milk booths soon

PATNA: Patnaites would soon be able to buy organic fruits and vegetables from their nearest milk parlour. To make the city residents’ healthier, the state’s agriculture department has tied up with Bihar State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation (COMFED) to sell organic fruits and vegetables at their milk booths.

Both COMFED and agriculture department are working out details of this project, which is likely to be operational by October.

“We have asked COMFED to add one more counter adjacent to milk parlours and sell fruits and vegetables too,” said Arvind Singh, director, agriculture, Bihar.

Agriculture department is chalking out details with the authorities concerned for the acquisition of land and construction of vegetable booths adjacent to existing milk parlours. The concept of this project has been derived from Mother Dairy that sells vegetables at its milk parlours in Delhi.

“We need to develop sufficient infrastructure for the vegetable outlets. Besides a cabin, we also need to add shelves and crates, to keep fruits and vegetables. Initially, we are planning to sell vegetables and fruits on daily basis only. As per the requirement, we would store more vegetables and fruits in deep freezer,” Singh told TOI.

The funds required for the project is being assessed. Prices of vegetables and fruits would be worked out in the light of market price. “It would be a little costly as compared to normal vegetables,” he said.

Agriculture department plans to outsource the job of supply of vegetables and fruits to ‘Samriddhi’ foundation which has a tie-up with many farmers producing them. Earlier, this foundation along with the state’s welfare department had undertaken the task of selling vegetables in ice-cooled pushcarts.

Bihar government already has an ‘Organic farming promotion programme’ running in the state for the cultivation of organic crops and developing ‘Organic grams (organic villages)’ here.

“It would not be mandatory for all milk parlours to sell these vegetables. It would be purely voluntary,” said Singh.

Patna Dairy managing director Sudhir K Singh said, “In the initial phase, we would target to develop vegetable counters mostly near vegetable markets. These vegetable parlours would hold a different brand name and not ‘Sudha’. The name for vegetable counters is yet not decided.”


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