Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Protests likely against delisting of onion and potato from APMCs

The government has allowed farmers to sell the produce in open markets. The government has allowed farmers to sell the produce in open markets.
Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune | Posted: July 3, 2014 2:50 am

The central government decision to bring onion and potato under the Essential Commodities Act and delist them from the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) has evoked a chain of reactions.

Traders protested the move and hinted at closure of APMC markets in protest.

The central government on Wednesday brought potato and onion under stock holding limits of the Act to prevent any hoarding.

The government has allowed farmers to sell the produce in open markets.

CB Holkar, member of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) said it will not be successful in bringing down prices of the commodity. “In absence of any fixed places of marketing, farmers will not be able to sell their produce. Farmers do not know linkages in the marketing chain,” he said. Holkar said the government, instead of delisting only potato and onions, should have delisted all agricultural produce.

Holkar said, “The process of procurement of onions from Nashik for the Delhi market will also be hit.”

Shivlal Bhosale, a trader with the Pune APMC, said the purpose would be defeated as it was ill conceived.

“APMC Act is a matter of state government, the central government should not be interfering in this,” he said.

Bhosale said APMC representatives would meet on Thursday to take a call and hinted at closure of the market committee in Pune.

Meanwhile, senior officers from the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) said they would face many difficulties in absence of necessary infrastructure.

They pointed out that the ongoing project of direct marketing of fruits and vegetable in 226 housing societies in Pune is facing quite a few hiccups.

The main contentions is that lack of a proper marketing chain would be a hurdle, they pointed out.

Shriram Gadave, president of Vegetable Growers Association of India welcomed the move and said the necessary infrastructure would be in place in a year or two. Ashoke Shinde, an onion farmer from Nashik said the move might not produce any tangible benefits for farmers soon.

“Those who know linkages would benefit, but small farmers will not,” he said.

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