In a massive crackdown against middlemen in agriculture markets, Maharashtra government has issued an ordinance delisting fruits and vegetables from the ambit of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC)-regulated markets.
In an ordinance issued on Wednesday after meeting traders associations the state government said its decision will reduce the soaring prices of fruits and vegetables and allow farmers to sell them in an open market.
The ordinance amends the APMC Act 1963 and exempts fruits and Vegetables from Marketing Committee’s purview.
“Objective was to ensure fair price to farmers so that consumers get vegetables and fruits at a cheaper rate,” govt said in a release.
To facilitate the new experiment, the state government has also exempted toll for trucks supplying vegetables to major cities and towns.
Maharashtra government had proposed its decision in a cabinet meeting held after the reshuffle but it could not go ahead with the decision after it faced stiff opposition from NCP and Associations of APMC’s.
Government’s decision was welcomed by farmers and farmer leaders including the newly inducted minister of state Sadabhau Khot and MP Raju Shetty of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna.
It has assured APMC traders that there will be no discrimination between the traders who want to sell the fruits and vegetables in the open market and those who want to sell through APMCs.
In April this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an e-trading platform e-NAM for the National Agriculture Market.
Calling the move a “turning point” for the country’s agriculture sector PM said that e-NAM would allow the farmers to decide “when, where and at what price” they sell their produce.