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Maharashtra amends APMC Act, deregulates sale of vegetables, fruits

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



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

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

But the move is being opposed by traders at APMCs in Vashi in Navi Mumbai and Nashik, who have gone on strike.

As the prices of vegetables and fruits have begun to skyrocket in Mumbai region, direct market licensees and farm produce companies have set up open markets in suburban Mahim, Mulund East, Andheri, Goregaon West and Kandivali West.

"The government is working on plans to bring vegetable trucks from Nashik. A large number of trucks laden with vegetables, fruits have been coming to Mumbai," Porwal said.

On what action the government was going to take against the striking traders at APMCs, he said it is for the government to decide.

Most of the vegetables and fruits in the markets of Mumbai come from Nashik, Pune, Thane, Ahmednagar and Satara.

The state government has urged 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.

An official statement said heavy rains too had affected the supply, though there was no production shortage.

Dipti Goradia, a Direct Marketing License holder, said their organisation of direct marketeers has identified 10 open plots across the city for selling vegetables, such as Mahim (behind Sitladevi temple), Mulund East (Chaphekar Bandhu Marg), Andheri (Lokhandwala), Goregaon West (Jawhar Nagar), Kandivali West (Raghuleela Mall), Borivali and Ghatkopar.

The Pune APMC, meanwhile, appealed to the farmers from

the state as well as from outside to bring their produce to the market and sell those directly.

"We received 10 per cent of the regular agriculture produce supply. However, APMC helped the farmers to sell their vegetable to the customers directly, providing them necessary help," said Dilipkumar Khaire, secretary of APMC Pune.

"We appeal to the vegetable growers from the state as well as out of Maharashtra to bring their produce here and we assure that necessary help will be given to them to sell their produce to the consumers directly," Khaire said.

A control room has been set up at the APMC Market Yard to help the farmers, he said.

MP and president of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana, Raju Shetti, said he would be in Pune Market Yard on Wednesday morning and support the farmers.

"I will see to it that vegetable growers sell their produce to the buyers directly and they do not face any problem from the traders and commission agents," said Shetti. 

From Zee News

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