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First in India: Maharashtra appoints officers to facilitate trade outside state

The Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) has appointed six officers as its representatives outside the state to facilitate trade in semi-perishable commodities. With this move, the MSAMB will become the first marketing board to appoint out-of-state representatives. Sunil Pawar, managing director of MSAMB, said these trade representatives will not only collect relevant market information but also facilitate trade across states.

When it comes to production of fruits and vegetables, Maharashtra leads India both in production as well as acreage. The state is the leader in production of fruits and vegetables like onions, mangoes and grapes. But farmers rarely manage to penetrate markets outside the state given the unavailability of market information and lack of local contacts. Invariably, this trade is controlled by traders who have developed resources and contacts over the years.

Explaining the role of trade representatives, Pawar said they will act as the representatives of the Board and, in turn, of farmer producer companies (FPC)s and farmers’ cooperatives in those states. “Their main work will be to identify the market and facilitate coordination between such markets and producers in Maharashtra,” he said. According to an article on¸ trade representatives have been posted in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu.

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