In a bid to tap into the initial success of the concept of 'Rythu Bazaars' In Hyderabad, the Telangana government is now experimenting with upgraded vegetable stalls under the 'Mana Kuragayala Pathakam' scheme.
The scheme plans to purchase vegetables from farmers in the nearby Medak, Ranga Reddy and Mahabubnagar districts and sell them directly to the consumers, eliminating the need for middlemen.
Minister for Marketing and Irrigation T. Harish Rao in August, opened the first such vegetable stall at Sardar Patel Nagar near JNTU in Kukatpally.
According to the scheme, vegetables that are procured from the farmers would first be brought to a centralized distribution centre at the Bowenpally market.
Here, they would be sorted and packed before being sent to the 'Mana Kuragayalu' stalls and Rythu Bazaars.
Twenty Mana Kuragayalu stalls have already been set up at different localities in the city.
The concept of 'Rythu Bazaar', which translates to 'Farmer's Market', was first started in 1999 by the government of united Andhra Pradesh to help small scale farmers sell directly to the consumers.
The direct sale ensured a bigger profit for the farmer and a better price for the consumer. The state government charged no rent to the farmers for setting up their stall.
However, over time there have been allegations of middlemen entering the markets as farmers who do not have time, simply sell the crop to a middleman, who takes it to the market and drives up the rate.
Reports also suggest that the government, which ensured a fixed control over prices in these markets has not been successful recently as middlemen have transformed these markets into general markets, where the pricing and issuing of licencing is reduced to a formality.
However, the Rythu bazaar in some areas of the city like Mehdipatnam still remain popular.
Now, with the new scheme, the state government has upped the ante and it has promised home delivery for orders of vegetables in a two km radius from the closest Rythu Bazar.
It also plans to upgrade Rythu Bazars across the city and investigate the allegations of corruption in these markets.