India: State of Maharashtra dismantles monopoly of APMCs

Maharashtra has become the second state after Bihar to allow trade in all farm commodities, including livestock, outside the regulated Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) wholesale markets or mandis. Farmers can now bypass wholesale markets and sell directly to buyers.

An ordinance by the Devendra Fadnavis-led government on October 25 has amended the Maharashtra Agriculture Produce Marketing (Development and Regulation) Act, 1963.

This Act had made it mandatory for farmers to sell all their crops after harvest in mandis within a geographically delineated market area under the particular APMC’s jurisdiction. But the amendment now curtails the supervisory powers of APMCs only within its own “principal market yard, sub-market yard and market sub-yard”. The APMC shall henceforth “not regulate marketing of agricultural produce and livestock in its delineated market area,” the amendment has stated.

What this practically does is to allow traders or processors to deal directly with farmers. According to¸ neither they nor farmers will have to go to mandis to buy and sell produce. The buyers can strike deals with farmers right at the farmgate and the point of first sale does not have to be an APMC-regulated mandi.

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