Gone are the days where vegetables and fruits used to be available at a minimum price and every family in the country would happily treat their children with variety of vegetables and fruits in the platter. In today’s world, buying vegetables and fruits is not poor man’s cup of tea and it is a dish exclusively fit for Gods.
Imagine being able to buy farm-fresh vegetables at a quarter of the price charged by your local vegetable vendor. This dream of every housewife which will be a win-win situation for farmers as well as home-makers may soon materialize in the city. Agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil has said that a notification guaranteeing the farmers to supply the produce directly to retail markets in the city and state would be issued soon.
At present, the farmer depends on number of vendors and traders to buy the vegetables from them. They are deprived of selling the produce directly to the public and hence they end up earning less and most of the times they do not make any profit at all. Also since the goods pass through a long distribution chain, we as a consumer end up paying much higher price than required. Even during peak season, a vegetable which farmers sell at Rs 3 per kg in the wholesale market is sold to a housewife at Rs 20 by a vegetable vendor.
The state government is keen to open such markets which will enable a farmer-people interface allowing agriculturists to earn more money for their produce while consumer get ‘more for less’. The decision comes a month after the government issued a notification to all Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs), informing them that sale of farm products would be decontrolled. The notification had asked APMCs centers to submit their objections to the plan.
Mr. Vikhe-Patil has assured that no matter whatever objections are raised, the implementation of plans will not be obstructed.
It will be a welcome start to the farmer-consumer interface and if the plan is implemented successfully, there is a possibility that the prices of the vegetables and fruits may decrease. At present, traders earn while both producer and consumer end up as losers.