Finance Minister Sitharaman Urges States To Dismantle Agricultural Produce Market Committees
A worker tosses a basin of onions into a tractor trailer at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) wholesale market in Umrana, Maharashtra, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

Finance Minister Sitharaman Urges States To Dismantle Agricultural Produce Market Committees

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has urged states to dismantle Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees and move towards using the National Agriculture Market, or e-NAM, for creating a unified market for agricultural commodities.

APMCs are state government-controlled agriculture marketing boards for farmers to sell their crops. The National Agriculture Market, on the other hand, is an electronic trading platform that helps farmers to trade their produce in the open market.

“The e-NAM has been pushed very much by the union government, and many states have agreed, also to take it up at their level. Together with this we’re also making sure that the states are cajoled to reject the APMC,” Sitharaman said at the World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance in New Delhi.

Agricultural produce marketing committees have served their purpose, but now there are many difficulties associated with APMCs, Sitharaman said, adding that they are “not so efficient” in helping farmers find a better price for their produce.

Niti Aayog, in its three-year action plan until 2019-20, has called for reforming APMC Acts of state governments. Agricultural marketing suffers from policy distortions, fragmentation resulting from large number of intermediaries, the think tank said. Reformed APMC Acts should empower farmers to sell their produce to whomsoever they wish, and anyone besides APMC mandis should have the right to buy produce directly from the farmer, the action plan said.

Sitharaman also urged farmers to produce oilseeds that have high demand in the country.

Watch Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech here:

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