Bhubaneswar, Dec 18:
In a bid to increase productivity and marketing support in urban vegetable clusters, the state government has directed the Horticulture department to initiate steps for bringing in reputed private partners for development of quality seedlings.
Presiding over a high-level meeting at the State Secretariat here on Tuesday, chief secretary JK Mohapatra asked the Horticulture department to increase the sale outlets and set up fixed stations of veggie-cart for easy accessibility of people to Udyan Fresh products.
It was decided in the meeting that the marketing support and supply of vegetables through cool- chain will be enhanced in the urban clusters.
Possibilities of promoting other brand names for ensuring availability of fresh vegetables in other urban localities were also discussed at the meeting.
Considering the success and demand of Udyan Fresh outlets, the meeting decided to open more retail counters in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
The urban vegetable cluster was introduced in the state during 2011-12. Later, it was extended to Sambalpur, Brahmapur and Rourkela during 2012-13. At present, the Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Ganjam districts have been covered under the programme.
Presently, vegetables are being grown over an area of 6.94 lakh hectares with annual production of 89.61 lakh metric tonne.
In the view of present consumption pattern, it is estimated that there is requirement of around 380 metric tonne of vegetables per day in Bhubaneswar market alone.
The meeting decided to adopt specific strategies to enhance productivity and marketing facilities and develop the cool chain marketing infrastructure to fetch more returns to the farmers.
The chief secretary directed the Horticulture department to have a convergence of National Food Processing Policy with that of the state policies and scale up all these activities.
The meeting decided that all the 10 agro-climatic regions of the state will be connected through cool-chain marketing system for circulation of different types of vegetables produced in different regions throughout the year.