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A market for farmers without middlemen


DERGAON, June 14 - A vegetable wholesale market initiated jointly by the Agriculture department and Golaghat district administration at Arengapara has been hailed as a great success.

The market started at an abandoned public bus-stand on April 22 is now witnessing an average sale of more than Rs 1.10 lakh per day. According to data available, the cumulative sale in the first 20 days was Rs 22.10 lakh.

Farmers from places like Kacharigaon, Chakialting, Teteliguri, Gamari, Thuramukh, Nalanipathar, Tarani, Dergaon, Sialekhati, Noragaon sell their produce in the market, which was the brainchild of Golaghat Deputy Commissioner Bibhash Chandra Modi and was executed by Assistant Commissioner Papu Gogoi during the lockdown.

During the lockdown, the demand for vegetables rose, which caused concern for the district administration, as prices also started to rise.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Modi said a section of people said the price hike was due to shortage in production while another section said that due to lack of a proper market, the farmers had to throw away their spoiled vegetables, which later led to price rise.

�We had to think of an effective measure so that both customers and farmers were benefitted. With the help of the Agriculture department, we started the wholesale market where farmers have direct access to wholesalers and get the actual price. This can be called the first step towards the Prime Minister�s call for Atmanirbhar Bharat,� he said.

He said the concept might be an example for all other districts for a green revolution, with the poor farmers playing a vital role.

However, as the new concept of market was controlled by the district administration, there were some initial problems.

Assistant Commissioner Papu Gogoi said the concept was to link farmers of the district to wholesalers directly so that the �middlemen concept� is discarded.

�The Agriculture department deals with farmers, but has no market, while the municipality has the market but no farmers. So, both parties tied up and the market was started,� Gogoi said.

�Due to lack of knowledge of marketing, the farmers are lagging behind in getting the actual price of their products, as the middlemen earn more profit,� he said.

He said the market will be instrumental in setting up a base price of vegetables, after which the price would be easily fixed by the administration.

The Assistant Commissioner said the Agriculture department must make farmers acquainted with the market�s dynamics along with advanced methods of production. The Agriculture department must chalk out a modality to run the market effectively in the coming days.

A farmer at the market said that they were now happy to sell their products directly without the involvement of middlemen.

On being contacted, Golaghat district agricultural officer Nabin Bora said a committee among the farmers would be formed to look after the daily activities of the market. �The department will also issue identity cards to the genuine farmers certified by field-level officers so that no duplicacy arises,� he said.

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