1. APMCs form the hub of agricultural trading which are democratically run local bodies. The major stakeholders are farmers, traders and consumers. Recently the amendment of the APMC Act has enabled licensed direct marketing agencies and private markets to participate actively in the agricultural marketing. It is imperative for the APMCs to provide to the stakeholders facilities for agricultural marketing in the form of basic and productive infrastructure for the purpose of: (i) Proper Handling of Agricultural Produce, (ii) Dissemination of Marketing Information, and (iii) Efficient Waste Management.
2. The level of investment in utility infrastructures in APMCs is low, mainly because:
i) Public utility infrastructures in APMCs like land development, compound wall, drainage, electricity, pavements, auction halls and auction sheds, toilets, and canteen are non productive assets. The share of these investments in the development of APMCs is large and needs longer gestation period.
ii) The infrastructure like godown, cold storage, cleaning, grading, and packing units can come up with public private partnership (PPP), but in order to attract private investors, support would be required in the form of advisory services and establishment of mechanisms for risk sharing.
iii) Moreover APMCs do not get the loan easily from the commercial banks for such development. Many a times, personal guarantee of the Directors of the Committee is demanded by the Banks for the loans of APMCs which is not agreed to by the Directors.
3. The result of this complex situation is either slow development or no development of APMC yards. The problem is addressed by providing assistance under MACP that would be linked to reforms in the functioning, management and operations of the market yard. The strategic objectives of modernization of APMCs are briefly stated below.
i) Transparency: To improve transparency in all the APMCs to be modernized, the transparency will be ensured by:
a) Computerized recording