Madhya Pradesh has become the latest state to announce large-scale reforms in its Agriculture Produce Marketing Act (APMC) to enable direct procurement from farmers, single license for trading in any mandi within the state, designating warehouses and silos as new private mandis and also facilitating the setting up of private mandis.
The steps have been announced to help cultivators sell their produce directly without coming to mandis and outside the regulated APMCs. The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has hastened these measures.
The state government has promulgated an ordinance called the Madhya Pradesh Krishi Upaj Mandi (amendment) Act, 2020, which will facilitate direct procurement of agriculture produce from farmers’ doorstep by food processing companies, exporters, and wholesalers without having to bring them to the mandis to sell.
“The reforms, which have been instituted from today, have been made as per the new model Mandi Act of the Central government and will provide a wide array of options for the farmer to sell his produce and not depend on designated APMCs,” Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a statement.
Several other states in the past few weeks have also adopted various measures to enable direct sale by farmers without requiring them to come to the mandis.
Karnataka has allowed co-operative institutions and FPOs engaged in wholesale trade of farm produce outside the market yards, while Tamil Nadu has exempted market fee on all notified crops.
UP has permitted trading on the e-NAM platform from farm gate and is also working on issuing unified licences to processors for direct purchase from farmers. It has also allowed FPOs to undertake procurement of wheat.
Rajasthan, meanwhile, has allowed direct marketing by traders, processors and FPOs, and has declared primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) as deemed markets.
The Rajasthan state government has already issued more than 1,100 direct marketing licences to processors during the lockdown wherein farmers have already started selling directly to processors, Of the ove 550 PACS declared market-yards in rural areas, 150 have become functional for direct marketing.
Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Gujarat have also allowed direct marketing without licence, while Uttarakhand has declared Warehouses, cold storage units and processing plants as sub-mandis to function along with regular APMCs.