WB govt to issue licences for retail outlets

Following its recent move to allow private players to buy agro products directly from farmers, the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal has decided to issue licences for them to set up retail outlets to sell fresh agro produce to the consumers.

Though an official announcement is yet to be made, industry insiders say that the move would fetch the state sizable investment as major players like Reliance Fresh, Adani and others would put in money.

Big players encouraged

The government will also encourage big players to set up marts under the Brihat Krishak Bazaar Yojana (mega farmers’ market scheme) where they can directly interact and transact with farmers.

With the licence to set up retail outlets, private players can buy agro products from the farmers and sell them directly to the consumers through their own outlets, cutting out the middlemen who often inflate prices.

Fair price

“This way, farmers will get fair price for their produce and consumers will be spared from the various price mark-ups at different stages between the farmer and the retail market,” said a senior official from the state agri-marketing department.

While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had often spoken about eliminating the middlemen from the system, the ability of private players to own both Marts to deal with the farmers and the retail outlets to sell directly could turn out to be the best strategy to achieve that, besides attracting big investments to the state.

Senior officials from retailers like Reliance Fresh, Aditya Birla Group’s More and Future Group’s Food Bazaar welcomed the move, hailing it the “win-win” situation for all concerned.

 

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