PHOTO: Employees pack fruits to be home-delivered at an e-thottam center. SOURCE: Gatgets Now

SOURCE: A Selvaraj, Gadgets Now

Having ramped up vegetable and fruits procurement and sale from 300 tonnes to 3,500 tonnes, the horticulture department now plans to make its e-thottam platform a full-fledged mobile app which will work on android and iOS mobiles. Having so far door-delivered 1,000 tonnes of fresh fruits and 2,500 tonnes of vegetables in cartons through food aggregators in the city, sales through the app will after the lockdown help about 1.5 lakh (150,000) registered farmers sell their produce directly to consumers.

An assorted pack of fruits including apple costs Rs 500 (USD 6.61) as does an exclusive five kg of Alphonsa mangoes pack and an assorted pack of vegetables.

An official said anyone can order through e-thottam that had begun sales on March 26, two days after the lockdown began. The horticulture department has about 6,000 Farmers Interest Groups (FIG), each with at least 20 members, supplying their produce to district horticulture offices.

All the 2,500 staff members of the department have been roped in to help the initiative, said an official. In Chennai, the delivery is made through Uber autos and cabs, while in the districts, it is done through cycles. There are 102 farms and parks, 600 depots apart from 385 horticulture offices and 7,500 mobile vendors, who collect fruits and vegetables from the horticulture offices.

Farmers from Krishnagiri and Salem send mangoes, guava, and watermelon, while muskmelon comes from Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram, and jackfruit from Villupuram.

“We hope the people will patronise this initiative even after the lockdown is lifted,” he said.

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