Agriculture is certainly the mainstay of Indian economy. In agrarian states like Punjab, political will and intervention has led to the success of land reforms and the upliftment of the farmers. Technological advancements, a visionary far sight, and efficient execution in the field of agriculture could be a game changer for winning over the menace of hunger, malnutrition and indebtedness. Similar is the case in Punjab state.
The process of the revolutionary transformation of the agricultural sector in Punjab began with true spirits in 2014. The Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal initiated the ultra-modern fruit and vegetable market in Mohali, with the vision of providing efficient marketing facilities to the farmers and traders including both the wholesalers and retailers. The market has been reported to give a boost to the flagship program of crop diversification of the state government.
The ultra-modern fruit and vegetable market in Mohali covers an area of approximately 12.5 acres, and involves an investment of nearly Rs. 50 crore. Various farmers are allotted space in the market, to directly sell their production in contrast to the ‘Apni Mandi’ scheme.
The market yard is separated in two areas, i.e. the wholesale area and the trade area. General facilities such as cold storage or ripening chamber, garbage collection and disposal, workers canteen, water works and air-conditioning plant are also installed in the market.
The main market block, is T shaped which comprises of three wings. The market is designed in accordance to the PEB structure, which makes the entire market structure viable, fast and easy to construct and economical.
The 100 mm thick puffed panels, are productive for thermal insulation, which further contributes to the efficient operating of the air conditioners in the retail market. There are approximately 79 retail fruit and vegetable booths, 10 retail fruit and vegetable shops, and 30 double storied wholesale fruit and vegetable shops in the ultra-modern fruit and vegetable market.
In order to avoid any sort of exploitation of the farmers and the consumers, electronic weigh scale is used i.e. the entire sale procedure is monitored electronically. The SAD-BJP led state government is the first state in the country to put all the information of development works on a web based system, e-Pragati.
The state government has also been conducive in promoting floriculture, which is clearly evident from the radical movement of the Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal to clear the proposal to grant subsidy of 50% of the total cost of additional infrastructure under the protected cultivation of flowers, herbs and salads in soilless culture.