Promoting Alternative Markets

The Agricultural Produce Market Committees are the regulated markets in the State for the trade of agricultural produce. The farmer in the State has been selling the agricultural produce in these markets. However, to enable the farmer to fetch better price for the agricultural produce, it is necessary to improve the farmers’ access to the markets. This could be achieved by:
  • Formation of farmers groups which will perform the activity of aggregation of their produce,
  • Value addition to the produce
  • Warehouse receipts development
  • Selling of produce at the Rural Haats
  • Providing e- marketing platforms for trade of agricultural produce.
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The Agricultural Produce Market Committees are the regulated markets in the State for the trade of agricultural produce. The farmer in the State has been selling the agricultural produce in these markets. However, to enable the farmer to fetch better price for the agricultural produce, it is necessary to improve the farmers’ access to the markets. This could be achieved by:
  • Formation of farmers groups which will perform the activity of aggregation of their produce,
  • Value addition to the produce
  • Warehouse receipts development
  • Selling of produce at the Rural Haats
  • Providing e- marketing platforms for trade of agricultural produce.
It is proposed to establish the Farmers Common Services Centers (FCSCs) by bringing farmers together in the form of voluntary group of about 12 to 19 active farmers and federating 15 to 20 groups into Producers Association (PA). There are more than 2,00,000 groups of farmers / women in the State in the form of Commodity Interest Groups (CIGs), Farmers Interest Groups (FIGs), Producers Groups (PGs). The existing groups from the above that are functioning, as well as the new farmers groups formed under the project, will be performing the activity of aggregation of the their produce under an entity of Farmers Common Service Centre (FCSC) and they will also undertake marketing of Agri. inputs to the farmers. These FCSCs will be functioning on behalf of the member farmers and will strive to undertake activities of providing input marketing for the production of agricultural produce which will result in an added value to the farmers produce. The limitations of individual farmer with regard to the marketing of the agri. produce will be also taken care by these FCSCs.

The FCSCs to be formed in the project will be primarily of two types,

  • FCSCs for the food grains
  • FCSCs for horticultural crops.
FCSC (Food grains) will necessarily have food grain producing farmers. Similarly, FCSC (Horti.) will have farmers producing horticultural crop.

The FCSC will be located at the village level and will have a legal status, owned and managed by PA registered as a society under Societies Registration Act of 1860. The representatives of the member farmers will manage FCSC. The FCSCs will be eligible for financial grant under the project to provide some basic facilities to the farmers within the vicinity of the FCSC. Generally, the farmers sell the agricultural produce immediately after harvest for want of storage facilities and to meet their financial needs. Due to the glut of the produce in the market after the harvest, the farmer has to perform distress sale. With regard to the food grain producing farmer, the compulsion of the farmer to sell the produce at distress could be reduced to some extent with the warehouse receipt facility.

The Maharashtra State Warehousing Corporation (MSWC) has more than 800 no. of godowns with around 12 lakh tonnes storage capacity in the State. Out of these, 40 godowns with 72,000 MT storage capacity have been identified by MSWC under the project which will have a tie up with the Banks and the commodity exchange. The food grain producing farmer will store the produce in these godowns, avail credit from the banks through the warehouse receipts and will have the option to sell the food grain through the commodity exchange at a future date. Within the vicinity of these selected MSWC godown, some of the APMCs (40 nos.) will be identified which will also undertake warehouse receipt program. Assistance to the MSWC and APMCs will be given in the project to undertake investments in their godowns. The successful implementation of this activity will result in i) usage of large no of godowns for storage purpose, ii) increase finance under warehouse receipt and iii) increase in trade on commodity exchange.

Rural Haats (RHs) are the village level agricultural markets where there is a direct interface between the farmers and the consumers.  Usually, Rural Haats are held once or twice a week. There are 3500 such rural haats in the state today, where the farmers sell their produce directly to the consumers. Around 90% of the produce traded in these markets is agricultural produce and the rest is non agricultural produce. These Haats are held on the land owned by local Panchayat / Municipality and APMC Act are not applicable to these markets. 

Considering the growing population of villages and increased needs of the consumers for fruits and vegetable in the village, it is necessary to develop basic minimum infrastructure like elevated platforms with sheds, pavements, internal roads, toilets, drinking water, drainage, and electricity, in rural haats Both farmers and consumers stand to gain because of short supply chain and improved infrastructure which will help the producers to realize better prices and create a better trading place. 

In light of the above, the project would improve the infrastructure of selected Rural Haats in the state. The successful implementation of the programme under project will have demonstration effect for the development of remaining haats in the state with active participation from the Panchayat. 

Besides, the program of formation of FCSCs, warehouse receipt finance and modernizing rural haats as an alternative marketing channel, virtual mandi concept i.e. e-trading is proposed to be augmented under the project. An additional option of e-trading has been included in the project. The trade of agricultural produce on exchange requires observance of certain requirements viz. volume of produce, grading / standardization of the the produce. This will be open up huge market to be the producer with an added advantage of not being required to bring farmers produce to the APMC yard and will also be able to realize better price. 

It has been proposed to setup e-trading in 294 locations in the State which will be operated by an e-trader by obtaining e-trading license from Director of Agriculture Marketing. These e- trading platforms will perform the trade by providing the facility / information to the buyers and the sellers registered with them.

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