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Agriculture ministry to improve domestic marketing system for agricultural products
NEW DELHI: With the aim to reduce the price gap between farmers and consumers and within inter-state, the agriculture ministry in consultation with state governments and other stakeholders endeavored to improve the domestic marketing system for agriculture produce including fruits and vegetables.
Minister of state for agriculture and food processing industries, Tariq Anwar in Rajya Sabha said that recently a committee of state ministers in charge of agriculture marketing was constituted in March, 2010 under the chairmanship of Maharashtra and comprised of nine States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Assam,Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
During the deliberations over the course of more than two years, the committee also invited non member states from across the country for consultation on marketing reforms. The committee submitted its report to the ministry on 4 rationalization of market fee and commission charges on fruits and vegetables and enunciation of policy and legislative framework to facilitate establishment of terminal markets (hub and spoke format) to link more and more producing areas with collection centres(spokes) so as to reduce the gap between farmers' price and consumers' price.
Other recommendations are single point levy of market fee across the country so that the commodity is not liable to be charged fee again in interstate transactions and direct purchase from farmers to reduce multiple handling of fruits and vegetables along the supply line.
Some of the other measures taken by this ministry include formulation of the Model Act, 2003 for adoption by the states and of Model Rules, 2007 for guidance of the states. As per 'State of the Indian Farmer-A Millennium Study' conducted by the ministry of agriculture in 2004, the farmers' share in consumers' rupee for perishable farm products is generally lower. In case of fruits, vegetables and flowers, it varies from 32-68 %. The study in general revealed that the producers' share in consumers' rupee differed, depending on marketing channels adopted by the farmers.
As marketing of agricultural commodities is a dynamic subject linked to many factors viz. production, supply, demand, import, export, etc and more so as agriculture marketing is a state subject, therefore, reform of marketing system by its very nature has to be an on-going effort.
Source: Economic Times
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