Store by farmers opened to market local produce
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Nov. 12: It was not long ago that the idea of promoting organic food became a much-hyped topic. Many entrepreneurs and retailers, especially in the indigenous markets of Asian communities, began to take to the agriculture movement. In Nagaland too, initiatives to market local farmers’ produce have been consistent.
‘Farmers Store’ is one such initiative. The store is courtesy of an agriculture group called the Green shelves Society, in collaboration with Marcofed. The new venture aims to promote farmers in the region by selling their produce at rates that the farmers decide.
The store was inaugurated by Dr. M Chuba Ao, chairman of Marcofed on Nov. 12. One can locate the store at the Marcofed building at Lhomithi village in Dimapur.
The chairman of the Green shelves Society Bumo Chang said that the main idea behind setting up the store was to help local farmers and ‘ease their difficulties in marketing their produce.’
“We are trying to give a platform to grow local, buy local, eat local and help local,” he said. ‘If we don’t take care of the farmers today, we won’t have any farmers tomorrow,’ he added.
Owing to the warm climactic condition of Dimapur, the products in the store consist mostly of perishable items. Chang admitted that ‘cold storage is the need of the hour.’ The Society is trying to seek assistance from the government to meet said requirement.
Speaking about the prices placed on the product at the store, Chang said the farmers decide the price for their produce. “It’s a farmers’ store,” he said. He went on to say that the products are sourced from different parts of districts including Phek, Tuensang, and Kiphire, among others.
An issue he talked about was transportation. For now, the Society is receiving help from goods trucks of the police department, besides business persons and others. Some farmers, particularly from Pfütsero in Phek district, usually bring down the products themselves, he said. “We are thinking of having our own transport mechanism in future,” Chang said.
The chairman of Marcofed Dr. M Chuba Ao addressed the event. In his speech to the gathering, he expressed ‘much delight’ for the store. He said that the government had registered a total 7,990 cooperative societies in the state. Out of it, 926 societies were audited. However, the remaining was defunct. These societies were ineffective because they were waiting for subsidies from the government, he pointed out. Although there is a “great potential,” nobody comes forward for any help, he explained.
Ao encouraged the gathering to buy local produce and products to help the economy of the state. He spoke also about why farmers are not able to sell their products in larger markets.
“We are not able to convert the raw products into finished products,” he said. He offered some instances including the pineapple and tapioca farming.
Customers can buy products from the story Monday to Saturday from 7:30 am and till around 6:30 pm. The Society plans to open the shop till 8 pm during summer seasons. At the moment there are eight volunteers assisting in running the store.