Non-BJP states boost centre's agri market reforms

By Saurabh Katkurwar

New Delhi, Jul 17 (IANS): It's a major reform aimed to ensure farmers get remunerative prices for their produce and take them closer to consumers. And it's just got a huge boost from a clutch of non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled states.

A fortnight ago, the state assembly in Congress-ruled Punjab amended its Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act to adopt the reforms suggested by the Centre while Kerala has also expressed its willingness to be a part of e-NAM, an electronic portal to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.

At least 15 states have decided to join the e-NAM. The model law recommends a single point levy of transaction fee.

West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have also agreed to make necessary changes to go on the reform voyage.

States like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, where the BJP is in power, have already started taking steps to liberalise agriculture markets on the lines of the Centre's model law -- the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (APLMC) Act, 2017.

The agricultural reforms are aimed at bringing transparency, effectiveness and competition in the agricultural trade sector to double farmers' income.

In the existing system, farmers can sell their produce at regulated APMC markets, with each located in an average 462 sq km. And they are subjected to different kinds of fees. The new reforms can break the traders' nexus and enhance farmers' access to buyers.

Alka Bhargava, Joint Secretary (Marketing) in the Agriculture Ministry, said Karnataka has decided to connect its markets with the central grid under the e-NAM and West Bengal has made two of three required changes so far.

"Punjab is the first state government to adopt the new law. It has passed a bill in the assembly recently. Also, Kerala has sent us a proposal to participate in e-NAM," Bhargava told IANS.

Satish Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary of Punjab's Agriculture Department, said that the state amended its APMC Act on June 23 to adopt all reforms proposed in the Centre's model act.

"We have borrowed and incorporated all aspects of the model law. We will have private market yards, special market yards, direct market and e-NAM, which will help us in price stabilisation," Chandra told IANS.

Kerala looks to get a national market for its commodities such as spices, bananas, pineapples and special varieties of rice through e-NAM, said Teeka Ram Meena, Principal Secretary of Kerala's Agriculture Department.

"We have conveyed to the central government that our six markets would be a part of the e-NAM. We are going to send a detailed proposal soon," Meena told IANS, adding the state was planning to formulate a mechanism to start private and direct marketing in lieu of the APMC Act in the state.

Maharashtra is planning to bring an amendment to adopt the model law in the upcoming monsoon session of the assembly.

"The bill is with the Law Department and we are planning to take it up in the monsoon session. However, we have already started taking steps to set up private and direct markets," Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar told IANS.

Maharashtra has issued 43 licences for private marketing and licences for direct marketing have been issued to 566 companies, including Saguna, ITC.

However, the JD-U-led Bihar government is not ready to adopt the new model act, apparently for political reasons.

The Bihar government has said its marketing system was more liberal than the one the Centre has come up with.

"The Centre has suggested one per cent fee, but there is no fee in Bihar. Our farmers can set up markets wherever they want and we are providing adequate facilities. Our system is more liberal. Our Chief Minister has already told the Centre that we are not interested in its new act," said a senior agriculture official from Bihar, who requested anonymity.

Comment on this article

  • SMR, Karkala

    Mon, Jul 17 2017

    Led by science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan, the government has set up a 19-member panel, including three members linked to the RSS and VHP, to carry out what it says will be scientifically validated research on cow-derivatives including its urine, and their benefits, according to an inter-departmental circular and members of the panel.
    While RSS and VHP scientist are busy separating Gold from 'cow urine and dung, the state of Bihar which BJP projected as 'Jungle Raj' is another feat to claim.
    The marginal farmers, have reduced their cost of production and increased their income by using a concoction from homemade curd in place of urea as fertiliser on their fields. Local farmers successfully increased their production of their kharif and rabi crops as well as vegetables, litchi and mango.
    As per the local farmers, crops get nitrogen and phosphorous for nearly 40 days after they are sprayed with the mixture. Only 2 kg of the mixture is required to replace 25 kg of urea. “In comparison to urea or chemical spray, spray of curd mixture is cheap and proving more result-oriented for us, without any side effects,” . “For a chemical spray in one acre of crops, we have to spend Rs 1,100 but only 2.5 kg of milk is needed to prepare the curd at home.”
    When BJP is just waving of farm loans in its ruling state which amounts to more than 1 lakh crores, non-BJP ruled state are setting an example for others.
    Jai Hind

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  • SMR, Karkala

    Mon, Jul 17 2017

    Karnataka’s online marketing for farmers has become quite a hit, with the Centre recommending it to other states and many like Andhra Pradesh coming forward to adopt it now.
    The state’s Unified Market Platform (UMP), which has farmers going online to sell their produce, has won accolades for its transparency and simplification of licensing procedures. “The success of this new online marketing system has created ripples and will revolutionise the agricultural sector in the country, greatly benefiting poor farmers and other stakeholders in agricultural markets,” says cooperation department and managing director of the Rashtriya e-Marketing Service (ReMS) , who has succeeded in integrating 103 of the 157 Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) through UMP in the state, helping farmers get a higher price for their produce. He hopes to have all APMCs doing online marketing in a year. Thanks to the new system farmers are even being paid online after selling their produce in APMC yards, he explains. Not only do the 1.4 million farmers, who have registered for it, receive confirmation of the transaction through SMSes, but their bank accounts too have been integrated for online transfer of money. “We have helped Andhra Pradesh adopt the UMP model and today 10 of its major markets are using it to transact business. Other states like Orissa, Rajasthan, TN, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh are also interested in replicating the Karnataka model,”.
    When Tamil Nadu farmers still staging 'Dharna' in New Delhi, BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh farmers taking bullets the Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah government has revolutionised the country's agricultural sector.
    An e-market for farm products in Karnataka has been so successful that the NDA government is setting aside politics and holding up the Congress-ruled state's programme as a model for all others. In fact, the Modi government is going to scale up Karnataka's e-Mandi model to the national level.
    Jai Hind

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    Mon, Jul 17 2017

    Govt Should first of all understand the agony of the farmers.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • MN, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 17 2017

    Thanks to States like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra for taking lead.
    Good to see Punjab amending its APMC and Kerala willingness to part of e-NAM. Interesting to note Didi's WB also aligning. Rare phenomenon. Again Bihar is pulling back. Lalus never allow Bihar to progress and Biharis to decide.
    Hope our state will not fallback, just for the sake of opposing...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Mon, Jul 17 2017

    Acche Din have started - Petrol is cheaper than Tomatoes ...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • N.M, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 17 2017

    The success of our nation's economy is attributed to states which are ruled by other parties. BJP ruled states only indulge in PR stunts, photoshopping and fake Gujarat like model.

    It is now evident that their agenda is trivial issues like food, dress, anti-romeo squad, cow, Gau-mutra and dung.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Mon, Jul 17 2017

    BJP states are still running after BEEF ...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

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