Agricultural Marketing in Indiaby Udit Jain on June 18, 2007
Ministry of Agriculture had formulated a model law on agricultural marketing in consultation with State/UT Governments to deal with emerging trends in agricultural marketing. This legislation enables establishment of private markets/ yards, direct purchase centers, consumers/ farmers markets for direct sale, and promotion of public private-partnership in the management and development of agricultural markets in the country. It also provides for exclusive markets for onions, fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Regulation and promotion of contract farming arrangement has also been a part of this legislation. A provision has also been made for constitution of State Agricultural Produce Standards Bureau for promotion of grading, standardization and quality certification of agricultural produce. For development of marketing infrastructure, four Central Sector Schemes have been introduced for: (i) developing a Marketing Research and Information Network (MRIN), (ii) a scheme with 25 per cent back-ended subsidy component for construction of rural godowns, (iii) strengthening of agricultural marketing infrastructure, grading and standardization in those States that have amended the APMC Act on the lines of Model Act, and (iv) Venture Capital Assistance scheme by Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) to promote agri-business projects. Besides, initiative has been taken by the National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM) to promote public-private partnership in establishment of state of the art terminal markets for fruits, vegetables and other perishables in important urban centres.