ALLOW RETAIL CHAINS TO DIRECTLY PROCURE AGRI PRODUCE FROM TARAI FARMERS: PHD CHAMBER

ALLOW RETAIL CHAINS TO DIRECTLY PROCURE AGRI PRODUCE FROM TARAI FARMERS: PHD CHAMBER

ALLOW RETAIL CHAINS TO DIRECTLY PROCURE AGRI PRODUCE FROM TARAI FARMERS: PHD CHAMBER

No.PR-47
June 18, 2014
New Delhi

ALLOW RETAIL CHAINS TO DIRECTLY PROCURE AGRI PRODUCE FROM TARAI FARMERS: PHD CHAMBER

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has demanded that the private retail chains such as Reliance Fresh, Tata Hariyali and Safal should be persuaded to open up procurement centers in the Tarai belt of Uttarakhand to directly procure its agricultural produce from farmers of the region since MANDIS procurements give them virtually no returns. 

In a statement issued here today, Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Executive Director, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the Government of Uttarakhand should deregulate its agriculture market laws so that both MANDIS procurement of agriculture produce in the region co-exist with the procurement methodology being suggested by the Chamber.

“Exporters, processors and retail chain operators cannot procure directly from the farmers as the produce is required to be channelised through regulated markets and licensed traders.  There is, in the process, an enormous increase in the cost of marketing and farmers end up getting a low price for their produce.  Monopolistic practices and modalities of the state-controlled markets have prevented private investment in the sector.  The post harvest losses of farmers in the region have exceeded 7 per cent in food grains and 30 per cent in case of fruit and vegetables”, explained Mr. Sanyal.

The Chamber has further highlighted that the agriculture sector needs well functioning markets to drive growth, employment and economic prosperity in rural areas of India.  In order to provide dynamism and efficiency into the marketing system, large investments are required for the development of post harvest and cold chain infrastructure nearer to the farmers’ fields.  A major portion of this investment is expected from the private sector, for which an appropriate regulatory and policy environment is necessary.  Also, enabling policies need to be put in place to encourage the procurement of agricultural commodities directly from farmers’ fields and to establish effective linkage between the farm production and the retail chain and food processing industries.

Tarai Region of Uttarakhand is one of the most fertile lands not only in the State or the country, but in the world as a whole and the farmers in this region are extremely hard working.  Despite this, they seem to be forced to leave their farming activities due to non-availability of proper marketing system to sell their produce on remunerative prices and high cost of agricultural production.  Farmers are not able to recover even their cost of labour for producing agricultural commodities, profit on investment and interest on capital cannot even be thought of by them.  Farmers are only the sellers who bring their agricultural produce to the market or sell it to the adhatiyas.  The Adhatiya deducts several charges namely “Karda”, “Dadhalta”, “Dharmada” and pay lesser price to the farmer.  Many a times, they make part payments and issue slips for the balance and the poor farmers are required to come several times to the adhatiya to collect their balances.
ENDS
Koteshwar Prasad Dobhal
Consultant (PR)