MUMBAI: Maharashtra Cabinet today accorded in-principle approval to a proposal allowing farmers to either sell their agriculture produce-fruits and vegetables-at the market committees or directly to buyers, like private retailers or malls.
The decision is aimed at ensuring maximum profit to farmers, who can now fix the price at which he wants to sell the produce, Minister for Cooperation and Marketing, Chandrakant Patil, told reporters here.
"Sale of produce by farmers to malls and private retailers has been de-regulated and brought out of the sole jurisdiction of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC).
"The government decided to approve the proposal to enable farmers and APMCs to take part in the Centre's project 'e-Mandi', wherein people can buy and farmers can sell their produce online," Patil said.
The minister further said six months ago the government had sent the list of 30 APMCs to the Centre to be empaneled in the e-Mandi project. "However, since the government had not amended the law, the Centre rejected the state government's list two months ago," he said.
Patil added in 2010, the previous Congress-NCP government had tried to deregulate the sale and purchase of fruits and vegetables in the open market. However, traders and mathadi workers (head porters) at the APMCs had opposed the move.
He also clarified that the government is not going to dismantle the APMC system.
According to the minister, a cabinet sub-committee under his chairmanship has been set up to sort out the issues, clarify the doubts that the traders and mathadi labour unions at the APMC have in connection with the government proposal.
"This sub-committee will be empowered to take the final decision, which will not require the ratification of the cabinet," he said.