Bolangir, Oct 29 (LocalWire) Farmers and youths in a cluster of villages under Deogaon block of Bolangir district set an example as to how to ward off the challenges of so called agrarian distress or unemployment. Taking advantage of a Haat (weekly market), they are now able to get back their fading prosperity and smile.
The Ardda weekly market (Haat) at Ardda, about 20 km from here, that comes up every Wednesday at the particular place since last two years, has provided a platform to the farmers and youths to earn good.
From agricultural produce to hair pins, almost all kinds of products that are needed for a rural lifestyle, is available in the Haat where sellers visit carrying their products for selling purpose.
Managed by Bhimpahad Krushak Producers Company Limited, Ardda Haat attracts many people from nearby areas to purchase their daily needs like vegetables and agricultural equipments or to do works like stitching their torn dresses near a tailor or repairing chappal with a cobbler.
A visit to the Hatt brings interesting facts about the role of a weekly market, particularly in rural areas which plays a crucial part in boosting the economic condition of farmers, developing rural entrepreneurship besides helping the rural folk in many other ways.
A Haat is considered as one of the oldest of all marketing channels in rural India which has survived the rigorous of modern day marketing in many states as it offers a wide range of products and services to rural consumers clustered around that particular location. They are also referred to as the mobile supermarkets of rural India.
However, in spite of development of permanent shops, these temporary markets play a vital role in the rural economy which is evident here.
Local farmers get opportunity to sell their produce here while it saves women from the ordeal of getting their basic needs as they were earlier not able to go to far away markets and Haats at Bhutiar Bahal, Kudasingha and Deogaon, said Rajashree Rana of Ardda village.
“I open my cloth shop every week here and it gives good business. The market has grown now from what it was in the beginning. Many unemployed youths have opened their shops and are earning good”, says Kamdev, a shopkeeper.
Farmers of Ardda, Gaibahal, Sikuann, Kudasingha, Kuthurla are now getting opportunity to sell their vegetables , says Umakanta Patel, a cauliflower vendor at the market adding the Haat has provided them source of income as they get opportunity here and don’t need to go distant market place for the purpose.
The number of customers and shopkeepers have gone up now with about 200 vendor units in the Haat selling different varieties of items, vegetable, dry salty fish (called Sukhuaa in local parlance), chappals/shoes, clothes besides blacksmiths, cobblers, small makeshift hotels and others with weekly transaction between Rs.two to three lakhs.
Chap Bagarti of Ardda said after this weekly market opened, unemployed youths have taken up cultivation and selling their produce here and migration to other states for greener pasture have drastically reduced.
However, the sellers need sitting arrangement here and a roof structures over their head so that they can sit safely in rainy season, he said.
President of Ardda Weekly market Suru Meher said he is supervising the market and ensures that no one faces problem.
President of Bolangir district Central cooperative Bank Laxman Meher said that after opening of the weekly market, economic condition of 34 nearby villages have improved as farmers are selling their produce with less hassle and getting money immediately. Moreover, besides providing economic and employment opportunities for youth, it has helped development of rural entrepreneurship and reduced even migration, he said.
Meher said he would request the district collector to provide necessary funds for construction of a sitting floor and roof over the Haat and an embankments wall for protection from flood waters from Baurijore (a small rivulet). A tube will be functional in the Haat early next year, he said.