Indian pop shops are set to open their doors to the public in a bid to help the country combat the country’s deadly cholera epidemic.
A local food marketing firm has launched the first pop-ups in the country, which are expected to start selling sweets, cakes, snack packs, biscuits, and other snacks to boost consumption and help combat malnutrition.
The Indian Pop-up Company is part of a larger effort to help address the pandemic by selling locally produced goods, which the government plans to sell for $15 to $20 a pop.
The scheme will target households in the capital, Delhi, where more than 20% of the population is malnourished, and the southern states of Assam and Manipur, where malnutrition is particularly severe.
The government plans an online marketplace to help merchants sell and stock their wares online, with the aim of raising more than $2 billion to help reduce the countrys food dependency and promote food security.
The countrys second-largest food marketing company, Arak, has also launched pop-shop-like shops in Delhi and other cities to promote locally-produced goods, and will also have a presence in Bengaluru and Mumbai.
The plan has been met with some scepticism from some economists, who say that while selling locally-made goods will help boost consumption, it will also result in the loss of jobs.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Anupam Kothari, a professor at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Delhi, said that the scheme is not sustainable as the country will need to import more than half a billion rupees ($5.3 billion) worth of food every year to meet the countrywide malnutrition target of one million per cent.
“As a result, there is a need to diversify the consumption of food, which will create employment opportunities for the many unemployed people,” he wrote.
“It will also help alleviate the social problems in rural India, where most of the food is consumed by people living in urban slums, where people have very limited access to quality food.”
Arak has partnered with the National Institute of Food Technology and Sciences (NIFTS) to develop the Pop-Up Store Scheme, which is designed to promote local production and create jobs in the sector.
The Pop-Ups will be held on December 16 in five locations across the country and the scheme has been given the go-ahead by the government.
“Our Pop-ups will be open on a day-to-day basis.
The plan is to operate on a daily basis, providing the opportunity for the people to purchase locally produced products to supplement their consumption,” a company official said.”
We have already started offering products in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Hyderpur and Lucknow, where we have a very strong presence,” he added.
The official said that Arak would continue to support local producers through a collaboration with other food marketing companies.
“We hope to expand the scheme to the other five cities.
Our aim is to create a new platform for all those interested in food marketing, who have aspirations of opening a pop shop,” he said.
Arak’s Pop-UP Store Scheme aims to offer affordable, locally-grown, and sustainably produced food products to the people of India.
The initiative comes after the government launched a pilot project in Bengal and Maharashtra in August.
It was supposed to launch the scheme on November 30, but due to the poor weather and severe monsoon, it was postponed.