Bihar aims to form veg producers co-ops

Prompted by CM Nitish Kumar during the Bihar Assembly debate on the budgetary demand of Rs 750.45 crore, Bihar Cooperation Alok Mehta said a sum of Rs 5 crore had been initially allotted in the department’s Budget for formation of federation of cooperative bodies of vegetable producers in the state, reports Times of India.

The federation will help vegetable growers get proper price for their produce, apart from making available vegetables at cheaper rates to consumers and preventing the depression of vegetable prices during overproduction, the minister said, adding necessary infrastructural support would be created for the purpose. At least 35 registered primary cooperative societies of vegetable growers have already been formed in the state.

Further, the preparation of detailed project reports for construction of storage facility, cold chain and cold storage is in advanced stage. Under the integrated cooperative development project, efforts are being made to promote production of ‘gur’ (jaggery) in East Champaran and West Champaran districts.

Mehta said paddy procurement through primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) hugely benefited farmers with marginal and small landholdings as well as share-croppers as they sold their paddy at minimum support price of Rs 1,470 per quintal to PACS while big farmers sold them in the open market at around Rs 1,370 per quintal.

The minister said every PACS would be provided driers to dry moisture-laden paddy from the next season. The foodgrain storage capacity of the godowns in the state has become 6.71 lakh metric tonne against the target of 10 lakh MT, he said.

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