Culinary delights await at Tarang Mela

By Benjamin Yadav

Bhopal, No one is likely to go hungry at Bhopal Haat, where farmers’ groups from all over the state are exhibiting their culinary products at the Tarang Mela.

The traditional bazaar in Arera Hills runs until Sunday. Most vendors have swapped their villages to be beside the opulence of the Marriott Hotel not just to sell, but to attract the attention of agricultural distributors who can take their products to new markets.

The event is organised by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), which provides financial and strategic advice to Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and promotes agricultural collectivisation.

The diverse offering on show includes mustard oil, peanut oil, coconut oil, rice, all manner of daal, ghee, mango, jaggery, fried plantain, laddu, fennel, chilies, chana, millets, wheat and nankeen.

Manish Varma has travelled to the market from Kheri in Sehore. Her FPO, the Agreeni Multipurpose Cooperative Society, produces and sells mustard oil, daal, peanut oil and coconut oil. She said the group faced some difficulties, but NABARD has helped to resolve them.

Ms Varma’s FPO has some 600 members. They have all paid a small fee to join the group and all take an equal share of the profits.

One happy shopper was Daran Prakesh, an agricultural equipment trader from Bhopal, who bought pulses and mangoes. “You have to promote rural people. Most people still live in villages, though it’s changing quickly,” he said, attesting to the quality of the produce on offer.

The monsoon rain, normally welcomed by farmers, provided an extra challenge for vendors on Friday. They will plan for drier conditions over the weekend to attract customers and distributors to their stalls.

That said, spirits were not dampened. A guitar and singer duet provided some harmonies to accompany would-be-buyers as they embarked on a micro tour through the villages of the state.

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