Tribune News Service
Parala (Shimla), April 14
The State Agricultural Marketing Board (SAMB) is set to start the Rs 10 crore market yard in this village for marketing of apples from this season that starts in mid-June every year.
The board has planned to construct the Controlled Atmospheric Store (CAS) store and a processing unit will also be set up by the HPMC as well, revealed officials.
The Parala mandi will bring the marketing facility at the doorstep of the apple and vegetable farmers and save them from the exploitation of arhtiyas.
This is a good news for the apple farmers that the government will start this mandi this season, said Pradip Banchta and Rajinder Chauhan, orchardists from Shantha (Chopal). The Mandi would bring about competition among commission agents, Adani Agrifresh and Himagri Fresh, the two players which operate CAS near here.
The farmers would get the best prices for their fruit and check the manipulation tactics of commission agents and the CAS operators to fleece the farmers, said Jaipal Chauhan, orchardist from Kotkhai.
It will strengthen the market network in the apple belt as farmers already have markets at Narkanda, Rohru, Dhalli, near Anni in Kullu, Solan, Parwanoo, Patlikuhal and Bandrol, Bhuntar in Kullu district, Mandi and Takoli in Mandi district, said Prakash Thakur, vice-chairperson, HPMC.
Parala mandi spreads in 107 bighas in this village which is a central point of the apple belt of Chopal, Jubbal- Kotkhai-Baghi and Theog. This mandi has three times more space than the Dhalli mandi and can unload about 100 trucks at a time, said marketing officials.
The 50-shop market yard, including approach road to the market yard, is ready, said Devinder Shayam, adviser to the SAMB. “We have convened a meeting of the board and the APMC shortly and will decide on the auction of shops as bankers operate from the mandi soon”, he added.
The farmers give credit to former Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta who persuaded the former Chief Minister PK Dhumal to set up the mandi and laid the foundation stone.
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