Agri Business

Covid-19: Maharashtra farmers plan a ‘constructive campaign’

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on April 07, 2020 Published on April 07, 2020

Shetkari Sanghatana, the apex body of farmers in Maharashtra, has planned a ‘constructive campaign’ that will connect farmers to consumers and facilitate direct sale of agricultural produce without middlemen.

“The coronavirus crisis has created an opportunity to strengthen the link between farmers and consumers and get rid of middlemen. Already, some young farmers are providing vegetables to apartments and societies in various cities. Once the government withdraws the lockdown, farmers will continue to build the chain and launch a unique campaign,” said Anil Ghanwat, President of the Sanghatana.

He added that the Sanghatana had appealed to farmers to join the agitation. The Sanghatana will encourage farmers to set up daily bazaars for fruits and vegetables on the fringes of cities. Amchya gavat – rast bhavat (At our village, at fair prices) is the tagline farmers will use for the campaign.

‘Blessing in disguise’

“Both farmers and consumers will be benefit as there will be no middleman. Agriculture should be strengthened to stop migration to cities and farmers should get remunerative prices for their produce so that they can start agri-processing businesses in villages. This could be the new beginning for farmers and consumers,” said Ghanwat. He added that Covid-19 has proved a blessing in disguise and it could open the doors of economic freedom to farmers.

Agri-entrepreneur and farmer Prashant Pawar said that farmers must grab the opportunity and take reins in their own hands. “It is the right time for farmers to decide the price of their produce and not depend on middleman and agencies to decide the price. Young farmers can use social media platforms to connect with consumers,” said Pawar.

BusinessLine recently reported that small farmers in Maharashtra are joining hands to take vegetables and fruits to the doorsteps of housing societies as big markets and Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) are not fully functioning because of the lockdown.

Published on April 07, 2020

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