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Empowering farmers: Maharashtra signals move to scrap APMC Act

Maharashtra government on Wednesday issued an ordinance amending the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act, 1963, deregulating sale of vegetables and fruits.

BT Online        Last Updated: July 14, 2016  | 13:53 IST

Maharashtra government on Wednesday issued an ordinance amending the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act, 1963, deregulating sale of vegetables and fruits.

Calling the decision as historic, Maharashtra's Additional Chief Secretary, Marketing, Sunil Porwal aid the objective was to ensure that the farmers get a fair price and the consumers get vegetables and fruits at a cheaper rate.

Opposing the ordinance, APMC traders have gone on a state-wide strike as the new move will enable farmers to sell their produce to the highest bidders.

In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the pilot of e-NAM, an e-trading platform for the National Agriculture Market. The Prime Minister had called the move a "turning point" for the country's agriculture sector that would allow the farmers to decide "when, where and at what price" they sell their produce.

Maharashtra government has asked the farmers to directly bring their produce for sale in Mumbai. Of the 307 APMCs in the state, 219 are operating, while some are closed due to holidays. The government has granted 148 Direct Marketing Licenses of which 91 are for fruits and vegetables.

(with inputs from agencies)

 

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