After their success in government procurement, the Farmer Producers Companies (FPC)s of Maharashtra are eyeing the wholesale markets in other states as avenues for their produce. In the first phase MahaFPC, the consortium of FPCs in Maharashtra, are planning to venture in the Azadpur mandi in Delhi to sell onions.
The FPC movement in Maharashtra has seen much action over the last year or so. Working under the banner of MahaFPC, the FPCs had purchased more than 25,000 MT of tur last year. The FPCs had opened village-level purchase centres and had purchased the produce on behalf of the Small Farmers Agri business Consortium (SFAC).
Yogesh Thorat, managing director of MahaFPC, had said that purchases by the MahaFPC had helped stabilise tur prices in the local wholesale markets.
MahaFPC’s move to enter traditional markets comes at a time when the state government is encouraging farmer and FPCs to explore alternate markets or to go for retail markets. Asked about their decision to go for the traditional wholesale markets, Thorat said it would be easier to be part of the wholesale chain rather than the retail markets. Onion, Thorat said, was a classic example of a produce from Maharashtra which fetches better returns in Delhi market than the local markets. “We aim to directly sell the onions from Maharashtra in Delhi’s markets, bypassing the various intermediaries,” he said.
In the first phase, Thorat said, MahaFPC will be concentrating on onions and slowly venture into other fresh fruits and vegetables. “On an average, the Azadpur market sees the arrival of around 100-115 trucks of onions and in the next two years, we aim to corner at least 20 per cent of the arrival,” he said. The wholesale trade in Azadpur and other places is mostly controlled by traders who purchase produce mostly in Maharashtra.
The ground level procurement, sorting and grading will be done by the FPCs, while MahaFPC will act as facility coordinator. A Nashik-based FPC will be venturing into the trade of onion with Thorat hoping to start the process by the end of this month. “We are hopeful that we will get the grant from the state government for the same,” he said.