How West Bengal govt has curbed food prices while providing better returns to farmers

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published Published on Jan 13, 2020   modified Modified on Jan 13, 2020
-The Indian Express

The Sufal Bangla scheme, which was started in 2014, has rescued consumers in times of high inflation.

The fast-rising prices of food articles, especially those of vegetables such as onions and potatoes, have been ruining household budgets across the country. But an effective scheme run by the West Bengal government has meant that many consumers, especially those belonging to the lower-income group, in Kolkata and some nearby cities have been shielded from the spike in food inflation.

The Sufal Bangla scheme, which involves fair-price stalls and counters across the city, allows people to procure vegetables at affordable prices. At a Sufal Bangla stall onions are retailing at Rs 59 per kg and potatoes for Rs 17 per kg. There are 144 such stalls in the state, 116 of which are in Kolkata, including both permanent and mobile ones.

Every time there is a crisis because of skyrocketing prices of vegetables and fruits, Sufal Bangla stalls help out the common people. “It’s the brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and we are definitely focussing on expanding this to reach out to maximum people in Bengal,” Tapan Dasgupta, Minister in Charge of Agriculture and Marketing Department, told The Indian Express.

The project was initiated in 2014 — with 14 mobile shops — to directly procure fruits and vegetables from farmers and sell them to consumers. The state government was committed to fair play in agricultural marketing practices in order to safeguard the interests of both the growers and the consumers, thus paving the way for Sufal Bangla, which is being run with the assistance of Safal ( National Dairy Development Board, New Delhi), and the financial support of Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana, the implementing agency being Paschimbanga Agri Marketing Corporation Ltd.

At present, the state has 47 static counters and 97 mobile counters. Kolkata has the highest concentration of these counters; the city has 24 static counters and 92 mobile counters out of the total 144 counters. These counters are located all across the city.

The Indian Express, 13 January, 2020, please click here to read more.

The Indian Express, 13 January, 2020,

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