Delhi gets India’s first wholesale trading centre for fruit, vegetables

Kisan mandi at Alipur in the capital set up with an aim to provide a platform for farmers to directly sell their products

shishir

Shishir Tripathi | September 25, 2014



Marking it as the first step to realise the plan of creating a “national market” for agriculture, union minister for agriculture Radha Mohan Singh on Thursday laid the foundation stone for the Delhi Kisan Mandi in Alipur.

The mandi is said to be India’s first wholesale centre for trading in fruit and vegetables outside the jurisdiction of the agriculture produce marketing committee (APMC).

After the amendment of the APMC Act, resulting in delisting of fruits and vegetables from the Act, the kisan mandi was established with an aim to provide a platform for farmers to directly sell their products. With the elimination of middlemen, the farmers can now directly deal with wholesale and retail consumers, and expect to receive 15-20 percent more for their produce.

Speaking on the occasion, Radha Mohan Singh said, “To strengthen the country it is essential that the farmers are empowered.” He also said that in spite of the fact that India has made headway progress in fields like science and technology and other areas, agriculture lags behind. He said the reason behind it is the faulty policies made by the previous government.

Talking about different initiatives to strengthen the agriculture sector, Singh said they plan to give every farmer a “soil health card”. For this purpose, 100 soil health vans will travel to remotest districts of the country, examine the soil, and subsequently issue health cards to farmers, he said.

The Delhi kisan mandi will provide a unique opening link to farmers and FPOs directly to the 15,000 MT/day fruits and vegetables demand of Delhi-NCR. This also comes as a good news for retail customers who can now expect to buy fruits and vegetables at 25 percent lower cost.

Small farmers’ agri-business consortium (SFAC), a society under the agriculture ministry, has been the enabling body behind setting up of the kisan mandi. SFAC will provide all the technical assistance towards the operation of this mandi. Stalls will be allotted to various farmer producer organizations (FPOs)/grower associations (GAs) along with dry and cold storage space to each allottee to keep their produce. SFAC will facilitate setting up of sorting, grading and packing facilities near the farmgate so that only sorted, graded and packed or semi-packed products are available at Kisan Mandi.

Explaining the significance of kisan mandi, Pravesh Sharma, MD, SFAC, said this will ensure the elimination of unnecessary middleman. Sharma also said that the kisan mandi will be different from Azad Mandi, operational in Delhi as the farmers will not have to bring the entire produce physically. Rather they will bring the sample of the produce on basis of which the auction will take place and the purchase will be made.

The minister assured that the fund for the construction of the Mandi will be released in next 15 days and the work will be completed in three months.

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