Farmers in Mauritius will now have greater control over sale of agricultural produce as the construction of a National Wholesale Market for fruits and vegetables finally appears to be evolving in the right direction.

The process of selection of the right consultancy firm for implementing the project has advanced another step as three consultants with the best evaluated bid have been retained. It may be noted that the Ministry of Agro-Industry had invited expressions of interest from consultants for the feasibility study, under which four consultants were identified in August, 2013.

The three consultancy firms which stand short-listed are: Strategic Networking Partners and Consulting Ltd, Port Louis, Mauritius with 78.77 points; Cabinet Gressard Consultants, Lyon, France with 87.45 points; Food and Agribusiness Strategic Advisory and Research, Yes Bank Limited, Mumbai, India with 78.35 points.

The price comparison for the bids are substantially responsive with Strategic Networking Partners and Consulting Limited, Port Louis, Mauritius quoting Rs 3.8 million, Cabinet Gressard Consultants, Lyon, France at Rs 4.1 million; and Food and Agribusiness Strategic Advisory and Research, Yes Bank Limited, Mumbai, India with Rs 4.4 million.

The main objective of the project is to carry out a feasibility study for the establishment of the necessary infrastructure for the handling of fruits and vegetables, post-harvest, for onward sales, fully compliant with all existing relevant legislations and agricultural and food standards.

Furthermore, the consultancy firms finally selected would be required to advise on a commercially oriented and sustainable model for marketing and management infrastructure that should be put in place for a fair and transparent mechanism, especially for price setting, in the interest of planters.

With the establishment of a National Wholesale Market, farmers can sell their products directly to wholesalers, bypassing intermediaries. In addition, the supply chain of agricultural products would be simplified, and farmers would have greater control over the prices of fruits and vegetables.

Photo (via Gogobot): The process of selection of the right consultancy firm for implementing the project has advanced another step as three consultants with the best evaluated bid have been retained.