Kisan Mandi (farmers’ market) to break monopoly of Azadpur, Asia’s biggest fruits and vegetables market
New Delhi, July 8:
In a bid to break the monopoly of Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Azadpur over the distribution of fruits and vegetables in Delhi, agriculture ministry promoted farmers consortium would be shortly setting up a ‘Kisan mandi’ which would directly supply to consumers without going through agents or middlemen.
Thus the prices offered to consumers of fruits and vegetables by the Kisan mandi would be around 20 to 25% cheaper than the prevailing retail prices.
This will be a major initiative for the government following the delisting of fruits and vegetables from APMC ambit in Delhi which is expected to announced early next month.
The Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), a society under the agriculture ministry, has identified 25000 sq feet space at the Lawrence at the heart of the Delhi to set up first Kisan Mandi where representatives from atleast 50 Farmers Producer Organisation (FPOs) will showcase their produce like potato, onion, tomato etc.
To start with Kisan Mandi would target Resident Welfare Association (RWA), retailers such as Big Bazar, Reliance Fresh, online retailers and hotel industry for selling fruits and vegetables.
Besides, the Delhi Milk scheme (DMS) booths in Delhi would also sell potato and onion to start with through procurement from Kisan Mandi.
Parvesh Sharma, Managing Director, SFAC said the Kisan Mandi would target at selling 5 to 6% of around 15,000 tonne of fruits and vegetables sold in NCR daily within a year of its operations.
“By September, we want to set up first Kisan Mandi in Delhi and we are in talks with Haryana government also to set up a common market place at Gurgaon,” Sharma said.
While farmers will be showcasing their produce in Kisan Mandi while actual storage of fruits and vegetables would be done in various godowns located at National Capital Region (NCR) and would be transported directly to target consumers by FPOs.
The Kisan Mandi will offer basic infrastructure for storage to the FPOs who set up stalls, which also includes basic godowns, grading, cold store as well as logistics handling facilities.
SFAC initiated the move to set up Kisan Mandi following the centre government’s recently request to the states to delist fruits and vegetables from APMC ambit so that farmers are no longer are to forced to sell their produce to only agents in APMC who levy commission on their produce which is subsequently passed on to consumers.
APMC Azadpur (Delhi), the country’s biggest fruits and vegetables wholesale market has already published a notice asking suggestions on the delisting fruits and vegetables from its ambit and a formal decision will be taken y Delhi government within few weeks
Kisan Mandi would be a new variant of Rythu Bazar promoted in Andhra Pradesh where farmers bring vegetables and sell directly to the consumers, thereby eliminating middlemen.
SFAC, since set up in mid 1990s, has promoted over 300 FPOs across all the states where more than six lakh farmers are associated with it. The consortium also procures oilseeds and pulses from farmers on behalf of government.