Kohima: In a bid to give impetus to women street vendors, Nagaland minister Neiba Kronu on Monday flagged off a bus service for them to ferry organic local produce from Pfutsero in Phek district to urban markets in Kohima and Dimapur.
The Women Street Vendors Bus is an initiative of Entrepreneurs Associates (EA).
The EA, set up in 2000, is an organisation of First Generation Entrepreneurs (FGE).
Speaking on the occasion, EAs chief executive officer Neichute Doulo said, street vendors from rural areas required proper transportation facilities for reaching their produces to Kohima and Dimapur.
Women street vendors, the major providers of organic vegetables in the state, used to depend on Nagaland State Transport (NST) services but many a times they had to throw away the vegetables because it used to perish on the way with breakdown of NST buses.
If there are no street vendors, a lot of our farmers would have suffered, he said.
The bus service will be operated by the EA for three years while the fare and rate of transportation would be finalised as per the convenience of the street vendors.
It would ply at least four times a week covering a distance of 130 km from Pfutsero to Dimapur via Kohima.
In his address, Kronu, the minister for planning and coordination, land revenue and parliamentary affairs, lauded the EA for their initiatives for taking care of the women street vendors and entrepreneurs since 2001.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, Nagaland government is planning strategies to improve agricultural activities as part of economic upliftment of people, he said.
As the local MLA, Kronu said it would be difficult for Phek district to compete with other districts in the state if not for agriculture.
Mentioning that areas have been identified for the rural street vendors from Phek district in Kohima and Dimapur to sell local produces, he said, at least two cold rooms would also be provided for the vendors to store their products for at least a week.
Maintaining connectivity is an important aspect of the economy, the minister said, with at least five major road projects being implemented in the district, Phek is all set to have the best road in the state within next two years and it would help improve the economic activities of the district.
In this, Kronu called upon the farmers and vendors to make proper strategies to reach the produces to major urban areas.
Highlighting that the government has started direct air cargo service to Delhi, he encouraged farmers to utilise the service to reach their products beyond the state.
Meanwhile, asking the farmers to engage in surplus production, the minister said, the government would look in to the issue of market avenues for their produces.