Day 13 – Q 3.What measures have been taken to reform the agricultural marketing system of the country? Are they successful? Critically examine.
3. What measures have been taken to reform the agricultural marketing system of the country? Are they successful? Critically examine.
देश की कृषि विपणन प्रणाली में सुधार के लिए क्या उपाय किए गए हैं? क्या वे सफल हैं? जांच करें।
Agricultural marketing system refers to the process of buying and selling agricultural commodities. Currently, it is governed by the Agricultural Produce and Marketing Act (APMC) in most states.
Measures to reform:
- Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) to connect all APMC mandis across states through an electronic portal, thus benefitting both farmers and consumers.
- Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act, 2017 to assist farmers to directly connect buyers to enable them to discover the optimum price for their commodities.
- Model Contract Farming and Services Act, 2018 to integrate farmers with bulk purchasers including exporters, agro- industries etc. for better price realization through mitigation of market and price risks to the farmers and ensuring smooth agro raw material supply to the agro industries.
- Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) so as to promote 22,000 number of retail markets in close proximity of farm gate.
- Agriculture export policy, 2018 which aims to double agriculture exports from $30 billion to $ 60 billion by 2022.
- Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) to ensure remunerative prices to farmers for their produce.
- Development and Strengthening of Grading and Standardization System: Assigning ‘AGMARK’ to graded products which ensure good quality and also command a better price in the market.
- Farmer Producer Organisation- SFAC has been promoting Agri-Business by encouraging institutional and private sector investments and linkages to ensure the empowerment of all farmers in the country.
- PM Kisan SAMPADA Yojana for creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.
- Direct marketing- There are some successful initiatives like April Mandi In Punjab, Uzhavar Sandhai in Tamil Nadu, Shetkari Bazaar in Maharashtra, Hadaspur Vegetable market in Pune, Rythu Bazaar in Andhra Pradesh, Krushak Bazaar in Odisha and Kisan Mandi In Rajsthan.
- Better price realization- Farmers are increasingly getting into contracts with companies like Pepsico giving them better returns and technological inputs.
- Increased profits- Reduction in middleman through initiatives like e-NAM have helped increase profits of farmers.
- Lack of infrastructure: open auction platforms exist only in two-thirds of the regulated markets; one-fourth have common drying yards. Cold storage units exist in less than one-tenth of the markets and grading facilities in less than one-third; electronic weigh-bridges are available only in a few markets.
- Existence of Middlemen: There are as many as 22,000 commission agents and innumerable middlemen in each market. According to Ashok Gulati, former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, commission agents in Delhi charge exorbitant fees ranging from 6 per cent to 15 per cent.
- ‘Agriculture’ in state list: Many states fail to implement the guidelines of centre Eg: Model APMC act , eNAM are still not adopted by all states.
- Lack of grading and standardization facilities due to which they are not able to get better price and it weakens their bargaining power.
- Lack of credit facilities due to which a farmer has to sell his produce immediately after the crop is ready. Adequate credit facilities can enable him to withhold his produce and run his household till he gets a better price.
- Lack of market information by way of prevailing condition in the market as well as prices prevailing.
The goal of doubling farmers income by 2022, can only be realized when farmers actually get a fair price for their produce. The measures have been good in spirit, but their implementation towards the objective is the key.