The Uttar Pradesh government has proposed to adopt Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for proper procurement and marketing of agricultural produce. The scheme is aimed at reducing the on-field losses and providing apposite channels to farmers for fetching best prices for their produce.
According to Uttar Pradesh Mandi Parishad additional director, Nikhil Chandra Shukla, a number of marketing resource centres would be opened across the state in partnership with the private players to provide information and assistance regarding handling, grading, sorting, packaging and transportation of the agricultural harvest to the local farmers.
“Usually, lack of reliable and easily accessible information to the farmers results in low realisation of market price for the produce and gross wastage of harvest on various accounts like rodents, pests, rotting and transit losses. We hope to rein in these losses and provide the best market prices to farmers by various mechanisms like grading and sorting,” he added.
The lack of proper and adequate storage in the state has time and again resulted in heavy losses to farmers and traders like last year, when the potato process nose-dived owing to record production but insufficient infrastructure to handle the glut.
The plan envisages setting up specialised cells for the region-specific produce, like potato marketing centres in the potato belt of central UP, mango centres in Malihabad and mentha centres in Barabanki, all in accordance with the most cultivated commodity of the region.
“We will lease out the land to private players for a period of 30 years initially and 20 years thereafter. The farmers will have the option of taking their produce to open market or selling it to these companies directly at the centres,” added Shukla.
The centres will be opened on the basis of the findings of ongoing study for identifying various ‘agro-climatic’ zones in the state to enable the availability of best equipment and technologists for the local farmers. The marketing centres will have latest technologies like radiation plant for enhancing shelf life of produce, ripening chambers for fruits and auto-grading facilities, which will be managed by the private players.
“Currently, we are identifying the zones and studying the regions for probable plant establishments. After the study, the allotment bids will be invited,” Shukla said.