By BIRMINGHAM, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Indian-owned bodega and grocery chain Babylonia Fruit Market opened on Wednesday for the first time in the world, with a price of 10 cents (15.00 rupees) on a basket of fresh fruit from local growers.
The opening of the bodegas and groceries in the bustling Indian capital, Bangalore, was seen as a step towards bringing fresh food to millions who have been starved of it for decades due to food shortages.
The bodegeas and groceries are part of a wider project to build up the Indian market and make it more appealing to foreign investors.
The bodegas, which are mostly run by Indian farmers, serve up a range of fresh fruits and vegetables from all over the world including the U.S., Brazil, Spain, Turkey and Australia.
The products range from local and local produce to imported and domestic products.
The grocery store is one of the first in the country.
India has seen a rise in food production as the global food shortage worsens.
Last year, food production declined by nearly 2 percent, or 3 billion metric tons, while imports declined by more than 40 percent, to just under $1 trillion.
In January, India’s central government announced it was buying up to 100 billion rupees ($16 billion) worth of food, including rice, meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits and nuts.
That followed a similar move by China in May that bought up to 1 trillion rupees worth of rice and soybeans.
Babylonia is India’s largest producer of organic produce.
The company, which opened its first bodeging store in the capital in September, said it would be one of only two bodegi stores in the Indian capital to serve up fresh produce.
In India, most people can’t afford fresh fruits because they are too expensive for many consumers.
They have to buy the local produce.
It is not that the bodes are cheap, but the prices are very low, said Ajay Kishore, founder of Babylonya Fruit.
Ajay Kishor, founder and CEO of Babys Fruit Company, looks at an assortment of fruits and organic vegetables at a bodegue in Mumbai, India, January 29, 2019.
The grocery store will serve up 100 billion Indian rupees, or $16 billion, of fresh produce from local producers, said Babys co-founder and CEO Ajay J. Kishoor.
Kshirashwar Singh, the co-chair of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agricultural affairs, has also called for the bodys to open more bodeges and grocery stores.
Kishor said the grocery store’s mission is to provide the poorest of the poor with quality food, but said it will be more than just a bazaar.
The idea is to create a hub for people to go to and buy food, and then to sell their produce, he said.
Bodegars are seen as the new market hubs, in many countries, because they provide fresh fruits, vegetables and milk, said Rajiv Kumar, director of the Indian Institute of Management, Delhi.
In countries where there are large numbers of bodegar outlets, there is a need to build more, he added.