Sadabhau Khot comes to the rescue of farmers and assists them to sell vegetables directly to consumers at Dadar during traders strike.
At a time when traders have gone on strike for protesting against the amendments made in the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act, 1970, Mos for agriculture, horticulture and marketing Sadabhau Khot has come forward to help farmers by assisting them to sell vegetables directly to consumers at Dadar. Khot himself had gone to hawkers’ plaza in Dadar for selling vegetables. Around 300 vehicles had arrived in Dadar for selling vegetables directly to consumers. Khot also was overseeing the sale transactions occurring in central Mumbai. He arrived with 10 tempos from Junnar and also helped farmers to sell their produce to customers.
“Traders should call off their strike and government is keen to have a meeting with them for addressing their concerns. Farmers are already facing huge hardships since last three years due to weak monsoon in the state. Many farmers had committed suicide due crop failure and increasing debt burden. Traders should think about the welfare of farmers and allow them to sell their produce directly to consumers. Agricultural and marketing department has created a mechanism where farmers can bypass middleman and earn more money,” said Khot.
This is the first instance where a minister has directly come forward to assist farmers. Khot also said that the Maharashtra government will take every effort to provide relief to distressed farmers.
“Earlier farmers were only known for cultivating crops as the marketing part of the produce was handled by middleman. As a result of this only middlemen used to rake lumpsum profits as farmers used to earn less money. However, today the scenario has changed as farmers also have learnt to market their produce. The government won’t allow farmers and customers to suffer due to the strike called by traders,” he added.
Meanwhile the government will have a meeting with traders to resolve the problems faced by them. It is expected that the traders will call off their strike soon.
The traders are protesting a recent ordinance issued by the State Government, which has removed vegetables and fruits from the scope of the APMC.
Until the ordinance was issued, farmers had to sell most of the produce to the traders who were issued licenses by the APMC. The old APMC Act mandated farmers to sell the produce in the APMC run market yards. Over and above selling the produce to the designated traders, the farmer had to pay APMC cess, taxes, and commissions. Now the farmers can sell their produce openly outside the APMC markets. Meanwhile prices of vegetables have skyrocketed due to the strike called by traders. Most of the vegetables like tomatoes, lady finger, cauliflower, cabbage have become dearer.