Thursday, May 6, 2021

Sabji cooler save farmer’s to dump their vegetables, Improves bargaining power of farmers in Bolangir ;SudhirMishra /Bolangir


Sabji cooler save farmer’s to dump their vegetables due to distress sale;

Improves bargaining powerand economic condition, in Bolangir.

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By

Sudhir Mishra/Bolangir

;6th May2021

It is a common sight in rural areas to find farmers resorting to distress sale of their vegetables at throwaway price ,to middleman unscrupulous traders and even throwing of unsold vegetables due to lack of storage facility at home.

Vegetables are perishable commodities and which need to be stored in a cold storage to keep in good condition which is lacking in Bolangir district.A cold storage construction requires huge investment, points out a local here.

But now Mother Nature has a answer to the farmer’s woes and the natural Sabji cooler,which donot require electricity , can store vegetables for five to six days in its chamber and keep its fresh,is providing benefits to the farmers of Muribahal in Bolangir

 

What is a Sabji Cooler?

 


 It’s a brick-and-mortar storage facility with a covering on top. It works on the principle of evaporative cooling and does not require any utilities / electricity except watering once in a day.  The cooling chamber temperature is lower than the ambient temperature by a margin of 5-15°C (depending on ambient relative humidity) and maintains a high relative humidity of above 85-90% inside the cooling chamber. The low temperature and high humidity inside the chamber preserve the vegetable crop for five to eight days. The storage capacity of one unit is 1 quintal, explain a civil society member

   

Technical Support

The RuKart Technology and PRADANprovided all kinds of  Technical as well as Technological support. The RuKart Technology also provided awareness & capacity building support and trained Producer’s group members on appropriate use of cooling unit explain a civil society member

 

There are 105 women farmers involved in the Subhadra Producer group (PG),under the scheme for promotion of agriculture production under the Agricultural production clusters(APC) of which 90 members are actively involved in vegetable production.

 

These members, in last year, selected Onion, Tomato, Chilli, Brinjal, Bitter gourd (Vegetable crops) and Arhar, Ground Nut (Pulses) as winter crops and cultivated in 84.2 acres. PG members sold a total 424.6 quintals of above mentioned products through collective as well as outlet marketing. Last year, the group members faced many challenges for marketing.

 

Due to lockdown, many times they could not sell their products in the right time nor could they store in any storage facility. Consequently, farmers with no storage facilities were compelled to sell their crops at throwaway prices. Therefore, as per the demand and need of Producer group  members, one cooling unit was installed in the village. Till today, 9 Producer group members have been accessing the facility regularly since the day of installation, says Bhajaram Sahu of Janamukti Anusthan

However in this natural sabji cooler natural crop,which is grown inside the soil  like onion, Reddish, and some other crop cannot be stored.

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Advantage

Earlier they used to collect vegetables only once in a week, the day before the weekly market and on an average20% of vegetables got wasted due to lack of storage facility, especially during summer.

After installation of Subjee Cooler they don’t wait for market day rather collect their products in the right time i.e. twice in a week and store in the cooling unit for 3-4 days. On the market day, they sell their fresh vegetables and get good prices. Again, the unsold produces are stored in Subjee Cooler and sold on next day either to middle-man or consumer directly, points out Bhajaram Sahu of Jana Mukti Anusthan Bongomunda

 “Now, the markets are closed for Saturday & Sunday due to weekend lockdown, yet we can collect our vegetables on time, store in Sabjee Cooler and sell on Monday. It would help us to reduce loss from farm to market during the lockdown period and consequently increase our income. Because of the fresh contain of our vegetables we can sell in 20-30% higher price than others, says another  group member.

Earlier we were facing loss in the vegetable business. After the installation of Sabji cooler we were  able sell our produce in the market without any worry and we thank the district collector and others for this support,says Mamata Rana, a member of the producer group.




District Collector of Bolangir Sri Chanchal Rana, inaugurated one cooling unit of Maa Sarala PG of Bramhni village in Muribahal block two months ago on 25th February 2021

 


“The sabji cooler is a eco friendly, non electricity based cooling system which increases the shelf life of vegetables and fruits by a few days so that they remain marketable’ says District Collector  Chanchal Rana .

“Taken up on a pilot basis by 10 GP level SHG federation, and funded out of the District mineral fund, it also involves financial contribution of the members as well. It has been taken up in APC (Agriculture production Clusters) areas and has shown very good results. Farmers now have the flexibility to store and sell in the market as per price conditions and not undergo distress sale. More groups will be sent on exposure visits to these areas and then it will be replicated across the district,” Rana says further.

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