The country's first village super market (VSM) is set to open in Khulna, aiming to benefit both farmers and agri-businesses by lessening middlemen's influence.
Solidaridard Network Asia, a Netherlands-based organisation, has conceptualised the VSM with an objective to ensure fair price of agro produces through farmers' direct participation.
The marketplace, located at Dumuria Upazila in Khulna, is expected to start in November, officials said.
Above 1,500 producers would be able to display and trade their products every day in the market, which will be the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
The market is equipped with all necessary facilities within a 86,000 square feet business compound, they said.
A senior official at Solidaridad told the FE that the VSM will be a marketplace for the rural agri-business hub to transform the market system aiming to benefit both farmers and the supply chain actors.
He said the peasantry and the agro businesses need constant access to market. They have also a necessity to boost value addition to their products.
He said: "Opportunity to source directly from over 1,500 producers, the VSM will guarantee a year-round reliable supply to its stakeholders to consistently increase their business volume".
The Dumuria VSM will have 30 auction centres spread over 20,000 square feet, three FIQC certified depots, sorting and grading space, washing facilities with HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) guided packing house, he said.
He said the market place will have quality input and extension service provision along with information centre and formal banking facilities, ice industry, 24-hour surveillance system, chilling centres and other modern facilities.
Close to Khulna city and besides the Khulna and Satkhira highway, the VSM will offer unique business opportunities in between and among the local producers, traders, and buyers, he said.
Executive director of Solidaridad, Nico Roozwen, in his recent visit to Bangladesh, said that the market will reduce transaction costs through first-mile aggregation to last-mile distribution.
It will be a regional market hub for the producers for trading their farm produce and contributing to sustainable agricultural, rural economic development to improve food and nutritional security, he said.
He said VSM would foster backward and forward market linkages among the producers and traders to shape the market as modern one for distributing safe food at most competitive prices.
"It will be a platform for the buyers and producers to enter into contract farming for improving agri-business growth and to promote sustainable production and consumption practices," he said.