In Maharashtra, the Agricultural Produce Market Committees are functioning as per the provision of Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1963. After amendments made in 1984, Section 39-A to 39-O are newly included in this Act. As per these amendments, the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board was established on 23rd March, 1984. The Board is entrusted with activities such as keeping necessary co-ordination in the working of the Market Committees, to advise them to make improvements in their functioning, planning the development of Market Committees, to maintain the market development fund, preparation of plans and estimates of civil works undertaken by Market Committees, organising seminars, workshops, exhibitions and training programmes in subjects related to agricultural marketing,export of agricultural products, establishment of agricultural export zones, horticulture training centre, grading-packing facility. etc.
AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE MARKET COMMITTEES:
There are 290 APMCs functioning in the state with their 593 sub-markets. Market Committees charge 0.75 to 1.00 % market fees on the sales that takes place in their market yards. The necessary infrastructure facilities are created and other developmental works are done with the funds collected by APMCs as market fees. MSAMB is getting 1 to 5 per cent amount of the income of APMCs as contribution. Part of this amount is used by MSAMB to disburse loans among APMCs and remaining for implementing various schemes, programmees and projects related to agricultural marketing.
As per the provision of Section 38 of Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act 1963, the budget of APMCs are being approved by MSAMB.
MSAMB is giving long term and interim loans to the Market Committees for carrying out various developmental works in their main and sub market yards. This includes, items mainly as land purchase/land acquisition, internal roads, road asphalting, drinking water facility, auction platforms, auction sheds, auction halls, compound wall, gate and watchman cabin etc. MSAMB is charging 8 to 12 per cent rate of interest on this loan.
From 1990-91 to 2004-05 MSAMB has given Rs.6792 lakh as a loan to APMCs.
"MARKNET" PROJECT: (MARKET NETWORK)
The `MARKNET' project is initiated to provide information on agricultural marketing to the farmer through APMCs. Under this project the APMCs have been computerised and connected through Internet. All the APMCs are under MARKNET. Daily arrivals and price information are being entered at computerised APMCs. Earlier this was exchanged through e-mails, but after launching of the web site, this data is being uploaded directly on web site from APMCs. The process of computerisation of the remaining APMCs is in progress.
MSAMB has launched web site www.msamb.com to provide information about various schemes, projects, activities carried out by the MSAMB. This web site contains information about 275 main Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in the state, export promotion of agricultural commodities, agricultural export zone, national institute of post harvest technology, horticulture training centres, Directorate of Agricultural Marketing, etc. in Marathi and English languages.
Besides above information, the daily arrivals and prices of agricultural commodities at various APMCs in the State are available on the web site for the use of APMCs, farmers and others. Downloading of various documents to be submitted to MSAMB, feedback facility, news headline, etc. are other important features of the web site.
ONION STORAGE STRUCTURE SCHEME:
There is an annual production of approximately 58-60 lakh mt of onions in the country. Out of this about 26-28%, approximately 16 lakh mt onions are produced in Maharashtra. Last year 8.26 lakh mt onions have been exported from the country, out of which 5.40 lakh mt has been produced in Maharashtra. For this purpose continuous export quota and stable onion prices in domestic market are necessary.
To mitigate the effect of gluts and poor harvests on prices and also to prevent excessively high post harvest storage losses in onion, the MSAMB is actively promoting the construction of Improved Onion Storage structures by APMCs, Co-operatives and individual farmers in the State. The Commissioner of Agriculture is implementing a scheme for granting of subsidy for the construction of improved onion storage structures and has issued a G.R. dated-15/01/2005, for giving subsidy of Rs 800 per mt in total. Out of this the agricultural department is giving Rs 500 per mt subsidy while MSAMB is providing financial assistance of Rs 300 per mt as well as technical support in the setting up of Improved Onion Storage Structures in the State. Objective of this subsidy scheme is to see that maximum farmers come forward to set up scientific onion storage structures and thereby ensure stable market price and consistent export of onions from the state.
Till 15/08/2005, as per MSAMB's orders and list 2595 beneficiaries from 15 Districts in the State have been granted Rs 5,35,57,536/- subsidy. Due to this improved onion storage structure storage facility of 78763 mt storage facilities has been created.
Farmers get only 25 to 30 paise of every rupee spent by consumer. The remaining 70 to 75 paise goes to different middlemen/commission agents with minimum risk, value addition and efforts. To overcome this situation it is necessary that adequate support should be provided to farmer to sell his produce directly to consumers. This will give better realisation to farmers produce and at the same time benefit consumers by making available produce at reasonable rates. This type of experiment is successful in Andhra Pradesh, and repeated by its neighbouring state, Tamilnadu. Efforts are being made by the MSAMB to start such a market in Maharashtra.
MSAMB is trying to promote the export of fruits and vegetables from Maharashtra. For export promotion MSAMB is participating in various promotion programms/exhibitions. In the year 2002 MSAMB participated in mango promotion programme held in London, UK and Frankfurt, Germany. MSAMB also participated in Anuga Food Tech exhibition 2003 held in Colon, Germany, International Food and Drink exhibition 2003 held in London, UK and Mango Export Promotion programme in July 2004 in China.
MSAMB has developed scientific protocol for the export of Grapes, Mangoes, Banana, Orange & Pomegranate. For the export of major fruits from Maharashtra, MSAMB has established Mahagrapes, Mahamango and Mahabanana co-op. partnership organisations.
For export promotion purpose the delegations from MSAMB has visited Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, Japan, Israel, France and Netherland in 2003.
Courtesy: Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board