The Tamil Nadu government has amended the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act by an ordinance stating that new reforms will be beneficial to the farmers in the State.

The State government promulgated an Ordinance on May 29 and as per the amendment, the new Act is described as Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Second Amendment Ordinance, 2020.

“This is tune with the opening up of agriculture marketing sector reforms as envisaged by the government of India as well as government of Tamil Nadu,” Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Principal Secretary-Agriculture, Government of Tamil Nadu, told BusinessLine .

Direct marketing of produce

Now, farmers in the State can do direct marketing of their produce at the farm gate levels to agencies like BigBasket, Nilgiri’s, Pazhamudhir Cholai, among others to fetch a better price. They would however have to get a licence from the government to prevent misuse of mechanism.

In most of the states, farmers bring their produce and sell within the regulated market. Though Tamil Nadu has allowed the sale of produce outside the regulated market, now a proper shape has been given to the various selling avenues other than the regulated markets. “A formal structure supported by specific guidelines give farmers better money for their produce,” said Bedi.

Through a license model, the State government will establish private or submarkets where farmers can auction their produce. The big private warehouses, where farmers keep their produce, will also be designated as spots where auctioning out of farmers’ produce can be done to the respective traders.

Also, cold storages for vegetables and designated food parks will be allowed for the marketing of agriculture produce.

“Now a farmer will have a the choice to sell at regulated markets, private markets, warehouses, cold storages or designated food parks. It will be his choice to sell the produce wherever he gets better remuneration, These are farmer-oriented reforms we have done,” said Bedi.

He added that in the proposed private markets, no fee should be collected from farmers. Traders’ fee will also be restricted as per the structure in regulated markets. So these markets cannot fleece traders and they will also be benefitted.

In the informal private markets, when the sale is undertaken, a commission is collected from both farmers as well as traders. In the regulated markets, 1 per cent fee is levied for traders in Tamil Nadu. The regulated markets will now be overseen by a separate CEO.

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