Azadpur mandi strike sees mixed response

Written by Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 3 2014, 20:00pm hrs
MandiAzadpur mandi strike was called to protest abolition of 6% commission charged to the farmers. PTI
The strike call given by a section of the 2300 commission agents or Arthias in Azadpur mandi, considered as Asia's biggest fruits and vegetable wholesale market ,on Monday saw a mixed response as only a few agents dealing with fruits closed their outlets. This is unlikely to affect the smooth supplies of vegetables and fruits across Delhi and adjoining areas.

The strike was called to protest the abolition by the APMC of a 6% commission charged to the farmers.The Delhi High Court in its judgement last year had stated said that arthiyas would be pemitted to charge a 6% commission, on the value of the produce, from bulk buyers and not from the farmers. Subsequently, the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Azadpur had issued a circular last month directing strict compliance of the court order with immediate effect.

Only a section of commission agents who deal with fruits are on strike. These agents used to collect 6% commission each from both farmers as well buyers, which was illegal, Rajendra Sharma, Chairman, APMC, Azadpur told FE.

Sharma said these commission agents collect more than Rs 400 crore annually from the farmers by imposing 6% commission while APMC only charges 1% commission from the farmers

Farmers from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and other northern Indian states bring in their agricultural produce to APMC, Azadpur and its 10 sub-mandis located across Delhi. The Azadpur market spread across 148 acres deal with 118 commodities mostly fruits & vegetables and handles more than 40,000 tonne of fruits and vegetables every day.

Sharma said agents for potatoes, onions, garlic and other vegetables are not in favour of the strike and that only a section of agents dealing with fruits have closed their outlets.