Gujarat government owned Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Company Ltd (GNFC) plans to open as many as 100 agri marts, a one stop solution to farmers for all their farm requirements, over the period of next three years.
The public sector company has already started three such outlets under the name 'Narmada Agri Mart' at Hansot, Jhagadia and Vyara talukas of South Gujarat.
In a unique initiative, the company has also installed, for the first time in India, a fertiliser vending machine at Jhagadia, from where farmers can buy fertilisers.
Nabard has also shown keen interest in vending machine initiative and has shown willingness to install five to four such vending machines in time to come.
"As far as agri mart is concerned, we want to focus on Gujarat first and then go national," said AM Tiwari, managing director, GNFC. "At present, we are fine tuning our model from technology and supervision perspective," he added.
The company has adopted two-pronged strategy for its agri outlet project. The company is promoting setting up of such outlets at taluka level on one hand and on the other, a cluster level workers are appointed to reach out to farmers at village level. "We plan to appoint one cluster level worker for five to six villages. Any farmer in these village can approach this cluster level worker and place his order," Tiwari added.
The company will have all the taluka level outlets on rent, for which Rs 10 lakh of investment would be required, while for cluster level outlet the investment would be around Rs 20,000.