You can now buy fresh vegetable produce directly from the farmers from the new farmers market at the Sant Shiromani Shri Savta Mali Athavda Bazar in the premises of the state legislative building, Mumbai. Launched by CM Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday, the market aims to cut out all middle-men and intermediaries to foster a relationship directly between the consumer and the farmer.
[caption id=”attachment_60973” align=”aligncenter” width=”800”] CM Fadnavis bought vegetables for Rs.200 at the Vidhan Bhavan on Sunday. Image Credits: CMO Maharashtra/ twitter.[/caption]
Reports released by the industry chamber ASSOCHAM have suggested that prices of vegetables may rise upto 100% as the peak production season is coming to an end in a few months. ‘There would be “more pressure on the market arrivals of vegetables as production season eases”, on the basis of a “most worrying” trend that saw vegetable prices rising up to 100 per cent in the April-July period due to low arrivals of the harvest in the markets,” said the Mid-day report.
The market in Mumbai will be operational on Sundays from 9 a.m to 3 p.m and official statements said that ‘the expenses incurred on facilities like booking amount of the plot of land, furniture, drinking water, light, waste disposal, parking and security shall be borne jointly by the farmers, farmers’ groups and farmers’ companies,’ as reported by Business Standard. Reports also said that the weekly market will store 35 tonnes of vegetables produces in the state in a clean and accessible manner and the quality of the products will be better as they are handled by lesser hands.
A report by Mint spoke about the inability of a farmer in deciding the cost of his produce before the amendments came in this year. “In July, the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government freed the sale of vegetables and fruits from the purview of the archaic Maharashtra Agriculture Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act. The amendment allowed farmers to sell directly to consumers, cutting out traders at agricultural produce marketing committees (APMC) to whom they had to mandatorily sell till then. The multi-tier regulation system involved levies that farmers had to pay for transport, loading and unloading, and weighing. Most of these levies go to intermediaries like the traders, weighing agents, transporters and labourers. But the cumulative cost of the levies is passed on to the consumer, effectively denying the farmer the right to determine the price of his produce. The Union government has recommended establishing more direct markets, which would also make APMC-regulated markets more competitive,” said the report.
The Business Standard reported that the farmers will get training from the officials of the Cooperation and Marketing departments. “At the weekly bazar, the consumers will get farm fresh vegetables that are weighed on electronic scales and priced at reasonable rates. The farmers will get the right to fix the price of their produce and get an authorised outlet to sell their produce,” Fadnavis said. At present, there are 27 such outlets in Pune, 3 in Nagpur and one at Thane. These weekly bazars will be organised on a fixed day of a week and shall sell vegetables and fruits produced in Maharashtra only,’ the report said.
Pune Mirror reported that the municipal corporation along with APMC were launching 50 such weekly markets in the city. ‘Narendra Pawar a farmer from Purandar Tehsil, said, “It is definitely a good move. Earlier, when we sold our products at the Market Yard, several middlemen would purchase them at cheap rates and sold them at higher prices. It is certainly good to know that people are ready to pay for fresh vegetables at their doorstep.” Manisha Dhoka, a resident of model colony, said, “Every Wednesday, I purchase vegetables from the weekly market at Deep Bangla Chowk. Here, I get fresh and hygienic produce from the farmers at a very reasonable rate. The civic body should aim at starting more such kind of markets in different parts of the city. These markets are very useful,” she said in the report.
Feature Image Courtesy: Robin Pagnamenta/ The Times UK
Words: Preksha Malu