How Maharashtra farmers are earning through direct selling amid Covid-19 lockdown

Radheshyam Jadhav | | Updated on: Mar 30, 2020

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 lockdown. 

In many places, the district administration is connecting farmers’ groups to housing complexes. As a result, profits earned is directly accruing to cultivators instead of getting divided among middlemen and wholesale dealers, while consumers are getting a better deal.

A group of vegetable farmers in Parbhani district have formed a chain to collect vegetables from fields and take the produce in a small tempo to consumers. In Aurangabad, the district administration is facilitating farmers to connect with consumers.

With weekly markets closed and the traders/middlemen chain broken due to lockdown, farmers in many villages are establishing a new network of farmers and consumers.

The farmers’ producer companies (FPCs) have also jumped into action. Sahyadri Farms, the Nashik-based FPC, has started selling fruit and vegetable baskets in Nashik, Pune, and Mumbai, in line with the demand made by individual consumers or housing societies.

Maharashtra has delisted fruits and vegetables from the APMC Act in 2016, allowing farmers to sell their produce directly to consumers. However, small farmers still depend on traders and intermediaries to reach the market.

Meanwhile, many farmers across the State have started distributing free food grain and vegetables to daily labourers. In Majalgaon, a farmer distributed vegetables, while in Nashik Pravin Patil, a young farmer, distributed about 20 quintals of wheat to the poor. Farmers under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Sangh in Jalna visited slum localities with foodgrain.

Published on March 30, 2020
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