The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has announced the commencement of the Urban Food Pilot project under the Balasaheb Thackeray Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project. This initiative aims to establish weekly markets that offer pesticide-free, and fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices, benefiting both consumers and farmers.
To achieve its goals, the project will set up designated markets at various locations across Pune. The identified marketplaces include Baner Ota Market in Baner, Suncity Ota Market in Vadgaon, Ambegaon Bk Ota Market, Kharadi Ota Market, Punyanagari Ota Market in Vadgaon Sheri, Kurunjai Ota Market in Kalas, and Dhanori Ota Market in Dhanori.
Under the support of the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA Yojana), the project will offer opportunities for agricultural production companies and Community-Based Organizations to establish centers at the aforementioned locations in the Pune region.
Expressing enthusiasm about the initiative, a PMC official highlighted the benefits it brings to the community. Ashit Jadhav, executive engineer, Anti encroachment and illegal construction eradication dept, PMC said, “This move will help citizens access clean, fresh, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables at reasonable rates while providing farmers with proper outlets to sell their produce,” the official stated. The PMC encourages residents to obtain their fruits and vegetables from these markets rather than from unregulated sources encroaching on public spaces.
By launching the Urban Food Pilot project, the PMC seeks to promote sustainable and healthy eating habits among its citizens while supporting local farmers. This initiative aligns with the larger objectives of the SMART project, which aims to transform the agricultural landscape of Maharashtra and enhance the economic well-being of rural communities.
As the project gets underway, Pune residents can look forward to an improved availability of quality produce, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle for all.