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APMC traders have their fingers crossed

They hope that tomorrow's meeting between APMC stakeholders and agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil will avert the decision to de-list certain fruits and vegetables from the APMC Act in a bid to reduce prices

Traders at Vashi’s Agricultural and Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) market have set their hopes high on tomorrow’s meeting between the APMC stakeholders and agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil.

 De-listing vegetables and fruits from the APMC Act would mean that farmers can directly sell them to consumers, instead of taking it to APMC wholesalers, who then sell it to retailers
De-listing vegetables and fruits from the APMC Act would mean that farmers can directly sell them to consumers, instead of taking it to APMC wholesalers, who then sell it to retailers

Traders, once again, plan to present their suggestions and objections regarding the issue of de-listing of fruits, vegetables, including onions and potatoes, from the APMC Act. This would mean that farmers can directly sell them to consumers directly, instead of taking it to APMC wholesalers, who then sell it to retailers.

The government has decided to de-list fruits and vegetables, including onion and potatoes, in order to bring down prices. However, traders are unsure if such a thing may actually happen. Sanjay Pansare, director of APMC fruit market, said, “We plan to raise the issue of de-listing of certain vegetables and fruits from the APMC act. We are hoping that a decision will be taken to protect everyone’s interest.”

This move, according to traders, will work against the interest of the farmers, traders and numerous mathadi workers who are involved in the loading and unloading of the commodities. Kirti Rana, director of APMC market and chairman of Navi Mumbai Merchant Chambers believes that it may not be very practical for farmers to reach the customer directly.

“With most of the traders having decades of experience, they have today become quality specialists but are still tagged as middlemen. They know what exactly sells among the customers and have facilities such as ware houses and cold storages to stock the commodities for longer periods,” said Rana.

Meanwhile, the State sent a notification suggesting the removal of dal, wheat flour, edible oil, dry fruits and all types of pulses from the APMC Act to the marketing committee, which in turn, held a meeting with the traders for their suggestions and objections. A report will be sent back to the state.

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