After allowing FPOs to directly procure from farmers, Uttar Pradesh has announced another set of reforms to its Mandi Act.
The state joins the long list of domains that have used the Covid-19 crisis to make changes in their APMC rules in order to facilitate direct procurement from farmers.
The UP government yesterday decided to abolish certain provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Krishi Utpadan Mandi Act through an ordinance that will allow farmers to sell 46 fruits and vegetables directly without bringing them to the mandis. But if they do bring these items to the mandis, only a nominal user charge will be levied on them, not the existing mandi fees and charges.
The proposed amendments will also enable setting up of private mandis, designation of cold storages and warehouses as deemed market places and single license for traders to buy and sell from any mandi within the state. The measures have been announced so that farmers get a good price for their produce, a large part of which has been impacted due to Covid-19 lockdown.
A few days back, Madhya Pradesh announced major 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 Madhya Pradesh government has also decided to promulgate 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.
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.
Rajasthan, meanwhile, has allowed direct marketing by traders, processors and FPOs, and has declared primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) as deemed markets.
The Rajasthan government has already issued over 1,100 direct marketing licences to processors during the lockdown under which farmers have 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.