Agri Business

Maharashtra eyes other States to drive agri co-op revival

P. ManojRahul Wadke | | Updated on: Jan 30, 2019
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The Cooperation Department of the Maharashtra Government has appointed managers at six majors cities across the country to enhance agribusiness between cooperatives in Maharashtra and other States.

The business opportunity is over ₹7,000 crore, a senior Maharashtra Government official said.

The managers have been recruited in Maharashtra and placed in Guwahati, Kolkata, Chennai, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Jaipur. They will look for business opportunities in other States.

The official pointed that currently, Maharashtra has a surplus of products such as onion, tomato, grapes, pomegranate, mangoes and raisins, which are traded in other States, but the huge profits go to the fruit and vegetable traders. In this process, farmers get lower prices for their produce and the end consumers have to shell out more money,

Eyeing a revival

The idea is to revive and enhance the collection and trading capabilities of cooperative institutions in Maharashtra so that farmers get more money and the final consumers have to pay less. The profit margins will be retained by the cooperatives, which are owned by the farmers, the official said.

In Maharashtra, pomegranate is sold at ₹60 per kg but by the time it reaches Aizawl in Mizoram, the price shoots up to ₹50 per kg. Therefore given the opportunity in such a market, the Farmer Producer Companies and Primary Agriculture Societies will supply fruits and vegetables directly to similar cooperatives institutions in other States.

The Department has already adopted a two-pronged strategy to generate business. The old cooperatives, which have been in the State since the 1950s, are being revived with the help of the new strategy and funding from institutions such as the World Bank.

The other approach is to provide an air freight subsidy on a pilot basis to carry high-value agricultural produce to the North East, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir, which will build up the appetite and demand from local markets.

Soon, the first air consignment from Nashik will reach Aizawl , the official added.

Published on January 30, 2019

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