Amidst the scaremongering by the opposition that the recent farm laws will harm the farmers, trends suggest that farmers are not buying this argument and instead are exploring the benefits of direct marketing of their produce.
Financial Express has published one ground report that reflects the happenings in Maharashtra. It says that the trend of farmers selling to food processing companies and retailers are on the rise. How is it benefitting the farmers and the businessmen as well? You may find the explanation in the report that mentions, “farmers in Buldhana district of Maharashtra met with a pleasant surprise when they got a bonus from a farmer producer company Jai Sardar FPC for selling their maize to them. Jai Sardar had purchased around 3,120 quintals from the farmers in their region and had sold the maize to a private company in Muzzafarpur in Bihar for ₹45 lakh”
As the report noted, efforts of food processing companies and retailers to explore the market have gathered steam, since the farmers are not forced to sell only to APMCs. These companies are purchasing products like Soyabean from farmers using electronic platforms like AgriBazar for sale of commodities, and also pitching to be suppliers to Corporate giants like ITC.
Lockdown Shaped the Trend of Direct Marketing of Farmers Produce
During lockdown, small-scale operation of direct marketing especially in perishable items such as vegetables and fruits took place. Even non-BJP ruled state like Rajasthan permitted direct marketing during the lockdown and the experience proved beneficial to farmers. You may read the detailed account in our article Modi Govt Tried Agriculture Market Reforms for Long, And Then Came the Lockdown.
Back in April 2020 itself, a report in CNBC TV18 reflected the trend in which farmers in Maharashtra lost their interests in APMC mandis but were looking beyond the system to access the larger market. The concept of taking food items directly to housing societies from farmers took shape amidst the pandemic. There are many such examples.
Now the farm reforms have paved way for to take this to bigger scales across various agriculture produces.