Chemical-free fresh natural produce direct from the farms will now be available on wheels to the consumers. The Mobile van, to sell fresh vegetables will be stationed in the State Secretariat complex, Chotta Shimla, Himachal Pradesh University campus in Summerhill and Krishi Bhawan in Boileauganj every Friday, beginning September 15.
In what can be termed as ‘Natural Produce on Wheels’, the State Project Implementing Unit (SPIU) of Prakritik Kheti Khushaal Kisan Yojana (PKKY) of State government will facilitate the farmers in three blocks adjoining Shimla (Mashobra, Basantpur and Totu) to sell their fresh chemical-free vegetables, fruits and some products like ghee, pickles etc to the consumers at the specified stations as above on reasonable price.
The mobile van carrying natural vegetables and other produce for sale will be parked in the premises of the State Secretariat, Chotta Shimla on every Friday from 1.00 PM to 2.30 PM and then on HPU campus from 3.00 PM to 4.00 PM. The same mobile van will be parked at Krishi Bhawan, Boileauganj from 4.15 PM to 5.30 PM.
“We will do this on a pilot basis in the state capital as the consumers want to buy the chemical-free natural vegetables, fruits and other produce. Based on the success, we will have more sale spots for chemical-free natural produce in Shimla and we can then replicate it in other districts,” said State Project Director, PKKY, Hemis Negi.
Around 200 farmers are being involved in the process of maintaining the regular supply chain from different farmer clusters identified in three blocks in Shimla district. All the farmers associated with this are certified for natural produce under a self-assessed certification process, Certified Evaluation Tool for Agricultural Resource Analysis (CETARA)-Natural Farming, devised by PKKY. The head of farm cluster will ensure the supply chain for the fresh natural produce is maintained every week.
Although the farmers have been marketing their produce in their own way and the PKKY has been working on the sustainable marketing mechanism for the farmers, the concept of facilitating the farmers to sell their natural produce directly through a mobile van is being implemented for the first time.
The Yojna aims to promote the natural farming technique in the larger interest of sustainable agriculture and healthy produce for consumers.
Around 1.70 lakh farmers in the state are practicing this chemical-free, low-cost and environment friendly farming technique partially or fully, involving an area of over 24,000 hectares across the State.
The benefits of the technique for sustainable agriculture have been validated by studies by the State Project Implementing Unit (SPIU) as well as outside agencies in Himachal Pradesh said he.