Bringing respite to buyers from the heat of high prices, the Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh has laid the foundation stone for the first ever kisan mandi in Alipur, New Delhi on 25 September, 2014.
The Delhi kisan mandi will be the first wholesale centre for trading in fruits and vegetables outside the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC).
Post the amendment of the APMC Act, resulting in de-listing of fruits and vegetables from the Act, the kisan mandi has been established with an aim to provide a platform for farmers to directly sell their products. With the elimination of middlemen, farmers can now directly deal with wholesale and retail consumers, and expect to receive 15-20 % more for their produce.
On the occasion, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh elaborated, “This event marks the realization of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to add value to the hard work of farmers and at the same time provide quality produce to consumers at reasonable prices. Farmers will be provided with soil health cards, for which 100 checking teams have been appointed. The kisan mandi established by Small Farmers Agri Business Consortium (SFAC), an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, is the first such effort to demonstrate the benefits of the loosening of controls.”
For the purpose, Rs. 500 crores has been allotted to support the entire gamut of agricultural initiatives being undertaken by the ministry.
SFAC will provide all the technical assistance towards the operation of the mandi. Stalls will be allotted to various Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO’s)/Grower Associations (GAs) along with dry and cold storage space to each allottee to keep their produce. SFAC will facilitate in setting up of sorting, grading and packing facilities near the farm gate so that only sorted, graded and packed or semi-packed products are available at the mandi.
Explaining the significance of the mandi in Delhi, Pravesh Sharma, MD, SFAC, said, “Kisan Mandi is an initiative to sell directly to consumers thereby eliminating middlemen, who prolong the entire process. It will aim at sourcing vegetables and fruits from farmers of different regions who are linked with FPO’s. The Kisan Mandis are meant to showcase an alternate model of marketing which reduces wastage and costs and shares the savings with farmers as well as consumers.”