Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh likely to have modern terminal mkts

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Aug 26 | Updated: Aug 27 2007, 04:54am hrs
The government has decided to set up seven modern terminal markets in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Madhya Pradesh in the next year under public-private partnership (PPP). The first terminal market will be set up in Chandigarh.

Modern terminal market complexes would work on the hub-and-spokes concept as prevalent in the United States. The terminal market referred to as the hub would be linked to a number of collection centers (the spokes). The spokes would be conveniently located in major production centers.

The programme for setting up of terminal markets would be taken under the US-India Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture, said the agriculture minister-counselor in the US embassy in India, Holly Higgins.

She said that when the US-India Knowledge Initiate Board met for the first time in Washington in December 2005, it was decided to focus on four key areasagro-processing and post-harvest management, biotechnology, water management and capacity building in education and curriculum development.

Some farmers groups and NGOs have been critical of US-India Knowledge Initiative signed in March, last year on the occasion of President Bush visit to India.

Our capacity building and joint applied research projects would address impediments to successful agricultural growth, market development, trade, domestic and foreign investments, she said and added that work has already begun in the National Institute of Agricultural Marketing in Jaipur and in Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

According to the additional secretary for agricultural marketing, Karnail Singh as many as 12 state governments have sent their proposals for setting up of terminal markets.

Punjab has offered to set up terminal markets in four locations, including Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur. The governments equity in terminal markets will not exceed 49%. Reliance group has shown keen interest in setting up of terminal markets.

Studies show that organised markets benefit farmers. Booming retail market and mass population of consumers offer good scope for terminal markets in India, said Rebecca Black, director, economic growth in the US Agency for International Development. The executive director of the Centre for International Trade in Agriculture and Agro-based Industries (CITA), Vijay Sardana is, however of the view that upgradation of the existing marketing infrastructure would be a viable option than setting up of new terminal markets.