Farmers, traders divided over allowing private parties in agricultural produce marketing
Speakers agree on need to eliminate middlemen
Apprehension over entry of MNCs into agricultural produce marketing
Organic farmer welcomes setting up of private trading yards
World class storage facility expected to reduce wastage
Farmers to get access to parallel market
MYSORE: The entry of private parties, particularly multinational companies (MNCs), into the agricultural
produce marketing sector as envisaged in the proposed Model APMC Act has raised hopes as well as concerns
among the stakeholders in the State.
A daylong seminar on "Reforms in the APMC Act" organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the
Union Ministry of Agriculture, NABARD and the Federation of Farmers' Association here on Tuesday saw
experts from agriculture and marketing sectors deliberate on the salient features of the proposed reforms.
The proposal to allow setting up of private trading yards and commission-free trade service for farmers and buyers has understandably raised optimism among farmers, who are looking forward to the elimination of middlemen. But the threat of MNCs entering the sector has led to unrest among various stakeholders.
The Chairman of the Food and Agricultural Marketing Research Academy, Gopal Rao, said the proposed
legislation seeks to effect changes in the existing agricultural marketing system so that the marketing costs are
substantially reduced to enhance the profits accrued by farmers.
With the State governments vested with the power to exempt any agricultural produce from market fee, farmers as well as traders stand to gain, he said. Citing an example, Prof. Rao said that over one lakh quintals of rice is sold in the APMC in Bangalore every day and the market cess paid by traders at the rate of 1.5 per cent and farmers at 1 per cent accounts for Rs. 2 crores. "This can be eliminated under the proposed system," he said.
B. Purohit, Senior Marketing Officer, Directorate of Marketing and Inspection, Union Agriculture Ministry, said the monopoly of the Government-regulated wholesale markets has prevented the development of a competitive marketing system in the country.
Hence, the Task Force on Agricultural Marketing Reforms set up by the ministry has suggested opening up of the
agricultural market sector for private parties. Private marketing yards are expected to increase competitiveness
among the existing APMCs.
"Interested private sector companies, both domestic and multinational, will be allowed to set up new market yards and develop world-class storage infrastructure. This will benefit farmers in two ways \u2014 create a parallel market and reduce wastage owing to the availability of storage facility.
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