Bengal readies draft of new agri produce marketing Act

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on September 17, 2012

The West Bengal Government has prepared a draft of its new Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act.

The draft would soon be submitted to the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, for her approval, said Arup Roy, State Agriculture Marketing Minister. The State Government had earlier said that it was in discussions with its legal department for proposing amendments to the APMC. “We have prepared the draft and we will soon submit it to the Chief Minister for her approval,” Roy told newspersons on the sidelines of the 2{+n}{+d} India Crop Summit 2012 organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here on Monday.

The Central Government had introduced the Model Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act and circulated it to various States and Union Territories in 2003 to implement marketing reforms.

The model bill includes provisions for direct marketing and purchase of agriculture produce from farmers, contract farming and setting up of markets in private and cooperative sectors among other things.

The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal Government has been opposing the concept of contract farming on the premise that it could jeopardise farmers’ interests. Out of 35 States and Union Territories, nearly 17 States have amended their APMC Act to allow direct marketing, contract farming and markets in private and cooperative sectors.

West Bengal Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, talked about the need to develop forward and backward integration to fuel growth in the agriculture sector.

“Higher growth in agriculture cannot be achieved only through improving crop productivity, but we also need to look into the aspects of forward and backward integration. Ensuring market linkage is also very important,” he said. Citing examples of rice and potato, Mitra said, “We are one of the largest producers of rice and potato. There is a possibility of creating many by-products from these agri commodities. We should focus on processing of these commodities to derive more by-products.”

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Published on September 17, 2012
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