The state can declare any market yard as one of national importance (MNI)
Traders will now be able to directly buy from the farmers and also not pay any marketing fee to the APMCs
NEW DELHI: The Gujarat government on Monday scrapped the monopoly of state-run Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC), allowing private participation in the market for purchase of crops and livestock like cows, bulls and horses. Farmers will now be allowed to sell to any APMC and not be bound to a single one, a government notification said.
Traders will now be able to directly buy from the farmers and also not pay any marketing fee to the APMCs for that.
The state government took the ordinance route to amend the Gujarat Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1963 as the state legislature isn’t in session. The new Act is called ‘Gujarat Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 1963’.
Gujarat joins other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in attempting to reform their agricultural markets to help farmers get better prices for their produce. The states have acted on the advice of the central government. A unified agriculture market was part of BJP’s 2014 and 2019 election manifestos.
The existing trader licences granted by the market committees shall be converted into state-wide single trader licence which means licence procured from one APMC can be used to sell produce at any other APMC.
The Gujarat amendments are bold as they empower the state to declare any existing market yard as one of national importance (MNI). The state government has sought to further liberalise the farm markets by saying that not less than 30% of the annual tonnage or annual value at the yard may arrive from not less than two other states.
An MNI’s market committee shall comprise a chairperson, a vice chairperson and 10 agriculturalists. Of these 10, one each will be nominated by the two states sending their produce to the given MNI.