Urbanites lap up quality grains

NAGPUR: Most farmers with good quality produce or organic products received an overwhelming response on the first day of the threeday ‘Mahapeek grain festival cum fair' of grains, spices and vegetables by farmers from Nagpur district.

Most other farmers, specially rice farmers, saw a mild response. The festival was inaugurated by district collector Pravin Darade and Zilla Parishad president Suresh Bhoyar at the Kadimbagh nursery premises in Civil Lines near CP Club. It is an effort by the Nagpur district agriculture department to help farmers market their produce better. The fair would remain open till Sunday from 10am to 9pm and has stalls by 102 farmers with 802 quintal stock.

However, even as the fair saw more visitors on the first day, as compared to the last fair, many farmers said they did not sell much. Farmers with organic produce, like Virendra Barbate and Manoj Jawanjal, said they had already sold a lot of their and got a good price for it. Jawanjal, from Kalmeshwar, sold almost four quintals of his organic ‘Bansi' wheat and tur dal on Friday.

He observed that proper grading and packaging matter to people. Kalmeshwar Kadu from Deshmukh Pardi village also sold his entire stock of organic wheat due to the good quality. Shankar Bobde, who grows organic Bansi wheat and most vegetables, also managed to sell most of his stock. However, farmers like Lalit Kalbandhe, Chandrashekhar Kamble and Arvind Sawai from village Veghwadi in Umrer taluka, with spices, jowar and hybrid wheat were unhappy with the response.

So was Surendra Kharpar from Narkhed with wheat, Taresh Shinde with Chawalkata rice and Amitabh Pawde from Yerla Pawde village. “Many people asked for rates but promised to come the next day,” they said. There were others like Nataji Tajne with desi jowar from village Salai in Saoner taluka, Bhuhan Miraj and Dinkar Dhoble from Kamptee taluka, who got a slightly better response but were unsatisfied. Amrut Balbudhe of village Baramba in Kamptee said, “It is already three months since the rice harvest. Most consumers have already bought their annual stock.” Some farmers like Arun Kawale from village Asali and Nan Wagh admitted that low quality grains were not selling.

A retired couple, PD Barade (former assistant registrar) and his wife Geeta from Mallarpur village in Bhiwapur taulka said they got good response for homemade desi products like garam masala and jawas chatni. The happiest lot were the women from the self help groups as they got an extremely good response for their papad, moong wadi, sewai, sandge, spices, pickles etc. Maya Bagde from Dawalmeti village on Amravati Road, who runs the Janjagruti Mahila Bachat Gat sold almost all her products.
Thanks: The Times Of India


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