The Delhi government's plan to delist perishable items such as fruits and vegetables from the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act may take a few more weeks to be implemented. Official sources told FE the government of Delhi, which is currently under President's rule, has received more than 1,300 suggestions and objections following the notification indicating delisting of fruits and vegetables from the Act's purview.
It was on June 19 that the government had issued an order to delist fruits and vegetables from Azadpur, Keshopur and Shahdara APMC mandis. The order also allowed objections or suggestions to be raised in 45 days.
The move will give freedom to farmers to sell produce outside the APMC mandis and is expected to allow the creation of private markets managed by Farmers Producers' Companies and the corporate sector. In the beginning, 30 farmers producers organisations will supply fruits and vegetables directly to bulk buyers such as Reliance fresh, Easy Day and Residents Welfare Associations or Group Housing Societies in Delhi.
At present, more than 15,000 tonne of fruits and vegetables are supplied across NCR through the APMC, Azadpur wholesale market and its sub-market yards.
Cumulatively, APMC Azadpur handles over 40,000 tonne of perishable commodities which is supplied to all northern states.
Following the delisting, the Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), a society under the agriculture ministry, is aiming to set up a Kesan Mandi by October, which is expected to increase income and reduce prices of fruits and vegetables by 20-25%. “We are not happy about activities in APMC mandis but there is a need for regulated markets. We have been advising and pressuring the central government for years for delisting of fruits and vegetables as we need to break Azadpur's monopoly over perishable goods distribution in Delhi regions,” Parvesh Sharma, MD, SFAC, said.