A clutch of states like Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh to follow Maharashtra in APMC reform

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New Delhi | Published: November 2, 2018 2:36:57 AM

After Uttar Pradesh amended the APMC Act in conformity with the model draft law framed by the Centre in April 2017, the Maharashtra government, last week, promulgated an ordinance allowing the traders to buy farm items from markets outside the regulated mandis.

This will also help in inter-state trading as traders from outside the state can directly buy from farmers after registering with the agriculture department, he added.

After Uttar Pradesh amended the APMC Act in conformity with the model draft law framed by the Centre in April 2017, the Maharashtra government, last week, promulgated an ordinance allowing the traders to buy farm items from markets outside the regulated mandis.
Several other states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have also shown interest in undertaking this reform in agriculture marketing to free farmers from the clutches of middlemen.

“Only UP and Arunachal Pradesh have brought in the changes in the law as suggested in the model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitating) Act 2017. There may be progress in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan after the assembly poll,” a government official said.
Though there were reservations initially, many states have agreed in-principle to amend their APMC laws, he said. This will also help in inter-state trading as traders from outside the state can directly buy from farmers after registering with the agriculture department, he added.

The mandi boards were opposed the reforms since their clout would reduce as traders would not pay any fee/commission if they bought the produce outside the physical boundary of a market yard, sources said. The Centre has been persuading states to undertake some key reforms in agriculture marketing so that there is uniformity across the country.

In July 2016, the Maharashtra government had amended the Act to deregulate fruits and vegetables. Now, flowers, oilseeds, pulses and cereals have been added to the list. Through the amendment, the scope of the Act has been widened to include promotion and facilitation instead of regulation, Sadabhau Khot, Maharashtra’s minister of state for agriculture & marketing reforms, had said on Monday.
The model Act allows trading of cows and other livestocks in the mandis. It also caps the APMC’s fees at not more than 2% for foodgrains and 1% maximum for perishable commodities.

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