Ramban: The Fruit and Vegetable Mandi located at the central place at Batote meant to cater the farmers and orchardists of Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar districts has started serving its purpose.
The Fruit & Vegetable Satellite Market or Mandi at Batote is among other 13 Mandies of J&K to be connected with the Electronic National Agriculture Marketing (ENAM) for facilitating the farmers in online sale and purchase of fruits and vegetables soon.
According to a official of Horticulture Planning & Marketing, till now only Narwal in Jammu and Parimpora in Kashmir are among all the 31 Mandies, connected with ENAM.
This Fruit and vegetable Mandi at Mansar at Batote established on 17 Kanal of land constructed by the Horticulture Planning and Marketing Department with an expenditure of rupees more than Rs 2.58 crore is providing employment opportunity to 30 shopkeepers.
The work of establishing fruit and vegetable mandi was started in the year 2013 and completed in 2018 but due to repealing of Article 370 and converting Jammu and Kashmir State into a Union Territory, the old Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act was also repealed.
The fruit mandi was inaugurated by Union Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar in the month of January 2020. The commercial activities in Fruit and Vegetable Mandi was launched by District Development Council, Ramban, Shamshad Shan in June 2020.
Now local farmers are availing the benefit from this Mandi by selling their vegetables and fruit in an organised way but traders are complaining that there is no cold storage facility available in Fruit and Vegetable mandiBatote.
They have demanded a cold storage facility for Fruit and Vegetables at mandiBatote so that perishable fruits and vegetables can be preserved.
Due to the ongoing second wave of Covid-19 lockdown farmers and orchardists are unable to bring their produce to Mandi.
However local shopkeepers and local traders of the area are buying all fruits and vegetables from this Mandi.