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Q. Delisting fruit and vegetables from APMC: Comment on Maharashtra government’s decision to delist fruit and vegetables from the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act.
Jul 22, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently Maharashtra government has decided to end the compulsion on farmers to sell their produce only at wholesale markets run by Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC). The plan is to formally de-list vegetables and fruit from the items in this regard, so that these may be sold outside APMC markets, too.

Analysis-

  • Currently, farmers are bound to sell vegetables and fruit to only traders licensed by the APMCs. It will allow traders to control the trade in farm produce and yield high benefits to traders, not to farmers.
  • Delisting vegetables and fruit from APMC ambit will enable an additional sale option for farmers other than middlemen, so that the latter don’t take complete control of the system as is the case now.
  • Excluding fruit and vegetables from the ambit of the Act would enable organised retail to procure directly from farmers, giving them extra income and the incentive to produce more.
  • It will encourage more farmer producer organisations (FPOs), self-help groups and private companies to come in, so that farmers will fetch more incomes from additional alternatives.

Suggestion-

  • Presently most farmers are in no position to directly reach consumers due to transport and time factors. Hence government should create more market yards in all districts, to enable farmers bring and sell their produce themselves.
  • The National Agricultural Market, a common electronic platform that gives farmers and buyers the leeway to sell and buy freely is a good idea, but government should focus on developing marketing infrastructure and make the supply chain that links the farmer to the consumer efficient.

Conclusion-

There exist huge challenge to bring reforms in APMC due to nexus between politically influential people manning state-level marketing committees and middlemen. In the background delisting of fruits and vegetables from APMC ambit is good move, so that middleman doesn’t have complete control on system and farmers can fetch more income due to additional options.


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