But Kumar continues to look at the future with positivity and says emphatically that if organised retailers and wholesalers want to increase procurement, farmers are ready to sell only to corporates. “Our family constitutes just me and my parents. If I go to the mandi and spend all night and all morning there, how will we work?”
In Bakhtawarpur, Walmart had the help of Karam Singh, a prosperous farmer from the area. “When Walmart had first come to Bakhtawarpur, there were hardly 10-15 interested farmers. The others told me if you tie up with them, we will follow you,” says Singh, ironically a staunch supporter of BJP, which vehemently opposed FDI in multi-brand retail last year.
Due to the near monopolistic scale of APMCs, retailers were forced to mould their direct farming model in a manner that benefits the farmers by giving them a good price and value proposition, says the retail official. Sadly, they are available only to a few farmers in the country.