New Delhi: India will soon have seven Modern Terminal Markets that will help farmers realize maximum returns for their produce, remove middlemen and ensure lower prices for end-consumer, according to PK Misra, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.
Terminal market is a modern day ‘Mandi’ (an open or encolsed market selling vegetables and/or grain at wholesale prices) with modern infrastructure like electronic auctioning of commodities, grading and standardization, where farmers would send their products directly or through collection centres.
These markets will provide backward linkages to farmers and forward linkages to wholesale agents, distribution centres, retail, cash and carry stores, processing units and exports.
Confirming that terminal markets will come up in Chandigarh, Nasik, Nagpur, Mumbai and Bhopal and two more cities he said that Chandigarh had already called for an expression of interest.
He said that the present marketing system of agriculture produce in the country, particularly for fruits and vegetables, had several systemic weaknesses which resulted in losses for the farmer and for the state government.
“Producers have often failed to realize the expenses that have incurred on transportation of fruits and vegetables to markets, let alone the cost of production and capital investment, during the period of glut,” he said.
Terminal markets would be a unique one-stop solution to the various ills plaguing agriculture marketing in the country. For there to be a visible impact, he said that the system would have to be inclusive, since 82% farmers in the country are small and marginal.
Meanwhile he urged states to be more proactive in facilitating the setting up of such markets and ensuring that over a long period of time their benefits accured to them and made them more productive and prosperous.