Royal Bihar litchi to reach London as farmers go 'global'

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Famous for its sweet and succulent royal litchi, Muzaffarpur in Bihar is now on the gourmet charts in Europe. For the first time, a litchi farmer from Muzaffarpur has sold his litchi crop to a London buyer via Common Service Centres digital buy-sell platform Kisan e-mart.

The Common Service Centre, an organisation of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, provides farmers with a fair price for their crop during the corona pandemic. The digital platform for purchase and sale relieves the farmers of the burden of selling their crop in the market.

Kisan e-mart runs on 'blockchain technology' which has been built by Agri 10X, a startup in Pune (Maharashtra). Farmers can come to the Common Service Centre and sell their crop to buyers all over the world which includes the transportation facility, too.

Muzaffarpur litchi farmer Sunil Kumar went to his nearest Common Service Centre and got himself registered on Kisan e-mart and provided information about the litchi crop, which was noticed by the buyer sitting in London who showed his interest in buying it.

After the price was fixed between the farmer and the buyer, the buyer's people based in India reached Muzaffarpur and examined the quality of litchi and sent their report.

When the two sides agreed, the buyer transferred half the money to the farmer's account as an advance. In presence of buyer's representatives, the process of breaking the litchi and packing it in cans was done and they were dispatched to Patna airport.

The litchi from Patna is expected to reach London via Bangalore today. The wages of workers engaged in the process, right from packing to freight and the cost of air transportation was borne by the buyer in London.

Sunil Kumar also got a good price for his litchi crop by selling it on Kisan e-mart.

The Narendra Modi government has started the Digital India campaign, ending the obligation for the farmer to sell their crop in mandi and getting a fair price for their produce.

Under this campaign, through the Common Service Centre, farmers can now sell their crop to any buyer abroad. Kisan E-mart has been launched in Patna and Muzaffarpur districts of Bihar.

Expressing happiness, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted, "I am pleased that today the litchi of Muzaffarpur is going to London. This is possible today through the Common Service Centre. With this, the farmer will also get the right price for his crop and will be rid of the problems related to transport. This will make Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of farmer empowerment come true."

Common Service Centre's Bihar chief Santosh Tiwari said the work of selling agricultural produce was started by the Common Service Centre in Patna and Muzaffarpur districts and will be gradually extended to other districts of the state.

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