A 100-acre dedicated market space integrated with world-class infrastructure, services from banking to storage, processing, and packaging under one roof, options for offline and online trading, legalisation of field trade, and ownership of farmers. These are some of the planned features of the private agriculture market initiated by Sahyadri Farmer Producer Company (FPC).
The FPC has bagged a license, the first in the country, to set up a private agricultural mandi (market) at Dindori, in Nashik district. The market will come up over the next three months at a cost of ₹25 crore.
“We are ensuring that world-class infrastructure is set up at our mandi in Nashik, where farmers will have a say in trading. Auction and storage facilities are being readied. About 90 per cent of infrastructure already exists. We have a 4,000-tonne storage capacity for grapes and raisins. Storage of another 20,000 tonnes is getting ready. We are focusing on horticulture commodities,” Sahyadri FPC MD Vilas Shinde told BusinessLine.
Online, offline trading
Horticulture trade mainly takes place at the fields and farmers often complain that traders go missing without paying fully.
“Now, all processes in such field trades will be documented. Also, farmers can store their produce at our market. Traditional APMCs [agricultural produce market committees] have established monopolies. Here there will be no monopoly as farmers are the owners of the market,” said Shinde.
Sahyadri FPC has readied a special software for online trading. “We want to provide an end-to-end ecosystem to our members. There is a huge domestic market available for our farmers, but there is no marketing system. The existing marketing system is not sufficient,” Shinde added.
Nashik farmers say grapes never come to APMCs for trading, and Sahyadri FPC offers them an opportunity to bring their produce to its market. Farmers have been complaining that the raisin markets in Tasgaon and Pimpalgaon are dominated by a few groups, forcing farmers to depend on them for a better price. Now, they hope to find a better solution at the Sahyadri APMC.
Competing with quality
“Private markets will trigger competition. Farmers are going to benefit. FPC market will pose a challenge to traditional APMCs. FPCs are crop- and member-specific and will concentrate on bringing their produce into the system. Competition is a must for improving the market system,” said Shinde.