The state government is considering taking oilseed out of the purview of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) to pave the way for farmers to explore the open market for their yield.
The move is part of the ongoing reforms undertaken by the state government to end APMC’s monopoly and exploitation of farmers, as also ensure higher remuneration for their produce. Now, farmers have to compulsorily sell their oilseed, foodgrain and cereals in the APMCs, which determine and drive the market prices of the farm produce.
In July 2016, the state government had taken vegetables and fruits out of the purview of the APMC, enabling farmers to sell them in the open market. The state government had also got rid of commission agents in the APMC. Before that, farmers selling foodgrain, cereals and oillseed in markets had to pay 2 per cent commission to these agents operating between farmers and APMC traders.
According to government data, “the eradication of commission agents helped farmers save Rs 2,094 crore during 2016-17. The total business was worth Rs 1,04,730 crore”.
“In the second phase of reforms, the state government is keen on deregulating oilseed. The step will provide a larger and open market for farmers and end the monopoly of APMCs,” said an official. The official, who is part of the 11-member committee constituted last year to study the reforms to deregulate foodgrain, oilseed and cereals, said, “Both the Centre and the state government are keen on expediting the reforms. It wants to end the monopoly of APMCs on farmers producing foodgrain, cereals and oilseed. Farmers should get better income on their farm produce in the open market.” However, the state government is exercising caution while moving ahead as it wants to evolve consensus among all political parties on the matter as the new legislation will require approval in the state Assembly and Council.