Delhi to get first Kisan Mandi within next few months
Alipur, North Delhi, Oct 6:
The national capital will have the country’s first “kisan madi” – fruits and vegetables market outside the purview of the APMC markets marred by trade restrictions– on a 1.6-acre land at Alipur in the northern tip bordering Haryana six months from now.
The mandi was “soft launched” recently, with sale of bout 20 tonnes of onions to Safal, the largest organised retailer of fruits and vegetables in Delhi and NCR region.
When fully operational, 30 to 40 farmers producer organisations (FPOs) and grower associations would display samples of their produce and once deals are done on-the-spot or online, the goods would be delivered to bulk buyers like hotels, resident welfare associations and big corporate retailers at their doorsteps.
The Delhi government had earlier this month removed a key hurdle that prevented farmers’ organisations and corporates from setting up new wholesale fruit and vegetable markets in the city, d paving the way for other states to follow suit and remove trade restrictions under the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Acts, without actually having to annul these laws.
“Through this market, farmers’ realisation is expected to increase by 20% to 25% while consumers would get the produce 15% to 20% cheaper from the current level,” Parvesh Sharma, managing director, Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), said. Depending on the response to the new agri marketing initiative, more Kisan Mandis would be setup in Delhi, Sharma daid.
Initially organised retailers, hotels, restaurant, caterers, large vendors, exporters, processors and general public will benefit from the new market where there would also be the facility of transit cold storage space and other facilities for grading.
“Hope Kisan Mandi will see scaling up and change the face of fruits and vegetables marketing in Delhi. They can give better prices to farmers and still offer produce at lower prices to consumers,” Ashok Gulati, Chair Professor Agriculture, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and former Chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) said
To reach retail consumer, farmers go through seven to eight intermediaries such as APMC market thus escalating price of the commodities while in the case of Kisan Mandi there would be only a couple of intermediaries.
For example, Shriam Gadhave, a farmer leader from Junner Taluka of Pune district has agreed to supply onion at Rs 22 per kg in Delhi while the current retail prices ranges between Rs 30 to Rs 35 per kg.
“At present, the wholesale price of onion in Maharashtra at around Rs 16 per kg besides we will incur around Rs 3 per kg as transportation cost.. As we would not need to pay mandi tax anymore in Delhi, our price would be lower compared to APMC price,” Gadhave said.
To sell their produce through Kisan Mandi, the farmers won’t have to pay the agents’ commission 6% in Delhi right now in the Delhi APMC market and the mandi tax (1%). This will help farmers get remunerative prices and bypass middlemen.
“In case of APMC market the agricultural produce is brought physically to the yard while in case of Kisan Mandi farmers would be bringing in only samples thus quality of the produce would be better,” Agriculture minster Radha Mohan Singh inaugurating the sprawling complex located close to Haryan border.
Recently the Delhi government through a notification had allowed new wholesale markets outside the purview of the existing three ‘APMC markets’ at Azadpur, Keshopur and Shahdara. The notification said “…regulations of marketing of fruits and vegetables shall cease beyond the market yards of APMC Azadpur, Keshopur and Shahdara, with immediate effect”.
Although Azadpur handles huge volumes of fruits and vegetables daily, there is a lack of expertise in sorting the produce leading to huge wastage while due to domination of traders, price realisation is not arrived at in a transparent way, a Delhi government official said.
Sharma of SFAC said while farmers will be showcasing their produce in kisan mandis, the actual storage of fruit and vegetables would be done in various godowns located on the outskirts of Delhi. SFAC has identified a place near Alipur, north Delhi, to set up first kisan mandi.
At present more than 15,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables are supplied across the National Capital Region through the Azadpur wholesale market and its sub-market yards.
Cumulatively, the Azadpur APMC, the biggest mandi of fruits and vegetables in the country, handles more than 40,000 tonnes of perishable agricultural commodities that is supplied to all northern Indian states.