Express News Service
ONGOLE: Farmers are some of the worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which was followed by a countrywide lockdown.
Growers of the perishable agri-products, such as banana, papaya and other fruits, are taking most of the damage in the absence of a proper transportation facility.
As such, the State government has decided to buy from banana growers whose yields are high and sell it to the public through self-help groups (SHGs).
The move aims at ensuring minimum support price (MSP) to the farmers.
In this regard, Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) officials in Prakasam district are preparing grounds for the sale of bananas in eight cities and towns with the help of women SHGs.
They have placed their first order for 1,320 kg of the fruit, and would extend the scheme to the entire district after analysing the sale of the first indent.
The SHGs in Ongole Municipal Corporation (OMC) limits may get 350 kg of the stock; the remaining would be distributed among those in Chirala, Kandukuru, Markapur, Addanki, Giddalur, Chimakurthy and Kanigiri.
According to official information, around 11,000 SHGs, with over one lakh members, operate under these eight municipal bodies.
They will be offered a commission of Rs 2 for sale of one kg of banana.
The fruit will be purchased at Rs 9 per kg and, after the addition of expenditures such as transportation and loading/unloading charges, its selling price may come around Rs 15 to Rs16 per kg, the officials said.
“We have placed the first indent of 1,320 kg banana. As the stock is expected soon, it will be
distributed to the urban SHGs immediately as per the plan. The selling price will be very cheap when compared to the fruit’s present market price Rs 30 to Rs 40 per dozen. If the order is successfully sold, we may procure papayas too,” K Krupa Rao, Project Director-MEPMA, Prakasam district, told TNIE.