VFPCK begins vegetables and fruits retailing in Kerala
Kochi, Mar 20 (UNI) The state-owned Vegetables and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam(VFPCK) proposes to enter retailing in vegetables and fruits in the state in a big way to bring growers spread over the state under its fold.
Disclosing this, VFPCK Chief Executive Officer Ashok Kumar Thekkan said the vegetables and fruits super market 'Sasya' opened at Palarivattom in the city today was a major beginning in this direction.
Besides obviating the role of middlemen, the retail outlets also made available farm-fresh produces at cheaper rates. 50 franchise shops would also be promoted by VFPCK in the city shortly and similar outlets would be opened in Thiruvananthapuram and Calicut soon, he said.
Nearly 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables, 80 per cent of them grown by farmers under VFPC, including certified organic produces, were being made available at the super market, opened by Coconut Development Board Chairperson Mini Mathew.
Stating that Kerala was producing hardly one-third of the state's vegetable requirement of 18 lakh tonnes annually, he said marketing was essential for the growers to remain in the field.
Already the state was experiencing a glut in certain varities of vegetables like tomato, the price of which had crashed to just 50 paise per kg in Palakkad district. The VFPCK had gone to the rescue of growers by large-scale procurement of tomato, he said.
Keeping this in view, VFPCK would soon commence vegetable and fruit processing units in a big way, he said. It was now extending help to farmers from seeds to marketing assistance and subsidy and expressed the hope that Kerala would soon attain self sufficiency in vegetables and fruits if the present tempo was maintained, he explained.
VFPCK was also exporting 30 tonnes of banana chips to the Gulf countries and the demand for the product was very much on the rise, Mr Ashok Kumar added.
UNI XR VV PAG1820