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Organic Sustainability Flourishing At Guwahati's Kolongpar Market

Fruits, vegetables, pulses, meat (especially pork), and fish are some of the hot favourites of this market. Apart from the general vegetables, the vegetables grown mostly by the indigenous communities in their private localities are also in high demand in the market, especially on Sundays

August 16, 2023

The bustling Kolongpar Market in Narengi, Guwahati, has become a hub for health-conscious consumers, especially those who favour promoting organic sustainability and traditional practises.

The market has gained a reputation as a prime destination for individuals who prioritise health and eco-consciousness.

The market's success lies in its unique offering of organic vegetables and fruits, all sourced directly from indigenous communities.

This provides a platform for these communities to showcase their age-old farming techniques and bring organic produce to urban consumers.

"I am a regular visitor to this market, mainly because most vegetables sold here are organic and free from any harmful chemicals," said Deep Kalita, a resident of the Noonmati area, while speaking to The Story Mug.

"Most farmers come from the nearby areas, and most of their products are fresh," he quickly adds on.

The market's setting provides an immersive experience, allowing visitors to interact directly with the farmers, fostering a connection between the produce and its source.

This direct interaction not only enhances consumers' understanding of organic farming but also supports the livelihoods of these indigenous communities.

The growing consumer awareness of the value of a balanced diet and the negative effects of conventional farming practises has also contributed to the market's popularity.

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Customers relish the fresher, more vibrant flavours of organic produce and appreciate the market's role in supporting local economies.

"We do not use any harmful chemicals or fertilisers to grow our products. We mainly follow the traditional farming methods, which have been handed down through generations," said Rakesh Rongpi, a vegetable seller.

"People love our products because they are fresh and not harmful to the health," he added.

"Apart from forest fruits and vegetables, the other products that are popular among the customers include fish, various types of meat, and the locally grown fruits and vegetables which are indigenous only to the nearby areas," he added.

This market serves as an exemplary model of organic sustainability by connecting health-conscious consumers with indigenous farmers.

Over the years, the market has bridged the gap between urban and rural worlds while advocating a more mindful approach to food consumption.

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Though the market is known for its fresh and organic products, several customers have also complained of being duped with non-organic stuff in the name of organic.

"I purchased vegetables worth Rs 300 a few weeks ago, which started rotting only after two days. This wasn't the case earlier. Several vendors are selling such unhealthy vegetables in the name of organic products," alleged Mridul Bora, a local.

Bishwanath Patgiri, a vegetable vendor, reacting to the allegation, admitted that some vendors are selling non-organic products under the guise of organic.

"I admit that some are taking advantage of this and indulging in selling vegetables grown using harmful fertilisers. But we cannot keep such vegetable vendors out of the market as we do not have adequate technology to distinguish non-organic vegetables from organic ones. More than the technology, we do not have the time to scrutinise each vendor and their products," Patgiri, who has spent over 15 years in the Kolongpar market, added.

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