EU supported urban agricultural market popular in Kerala

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Maradu (Kerala), Sept 18 (ANI): Agricultural Urban Wholesale Market at Maradu in Kerala has become popular among residents and farmers alike.

Fresh and cheap agricultural products are available here and the farmers have the storing, testing and other facilities.

The market is run by the Kerala Government and is financially aided by the European Union (EU). Fresh fruits, vegetables, spice and other agriculture produces are sold in the market.

The place is attracting hordes of customers, as the prices of products are cheaper compared to other shops.

"Most of the products sold in this market are fresh and of a good quality. Earlier, I used to go to main market. But this place is cheap, easy and products come directly from the farms as compared to other shops," said Sebastian, a customer.

The setting up of warehousing, packaging and marine testing units for frozen or dried fish, vegetables and fruits at the Urban Market are some of the facilities available to farmers.

Prices are low since the farmers directly supply their produce in this market and own shops.

"Compared to other markets here, the prices are low as we have no labour cost involved During festival and other occasions, sellers used to charge high but here prices always remain low because we ourselves produce and later sell and for customers," said Saji Kumar, a farmer and a shop owner.

Recently, various programmes and exhibitions have been introduced with the help of the State Government and horticulture mission to make the market more farmer-friendly.

The market was set up to improve the marketing infrastructure and enabling farmers to get a better price for their produce.

The market is developed at an area of 46 acres that can handle more than 2,500 tons of produce.

Facilities such as internet access enable the farmers keep track of the daily prices, Agmark certification for the produce is also available at the Agmark Testing Laboratory functioning at the market. By Juhan Samuel (ANI)

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