File Photo
File Photo

While farmers are protesting at the Haryana-Delhi border against the Farm Bills that allow trade of commodities outside of the agriculture produce market committee (APMC), the traders at APMC Mumbai alleged that they incurred more than 22% trade losses since the bill were brought in by the central government. Traders say that farmers prefer to sell outside the APMC as they do not need to pay any taxes there.

Traders at the wholesale market are opposing since the Centre promulgated three Ordinances reforming the country’s agriculture marketing on the first week of June. They are a sharp decline in trade at the APMC and traders allege that additional cess being charged as the main reason.

During the June-October period, mandi arrivals of crops at the grain market at APMC Vashi has seen between 3-63% drops.

The arrivals of peas at the market was 63% less while wheat has come down by around 46%. Bhimji Bhanushali, secretary of the Grain, Rice & Oilseeds, Merchants’ Association (GROMA) at APMC Vashi said that the overall decrease since the ordinance promulgated, there is an overall 22% loss of the trade.

Arrival of Vehicles laden with commodities at APMC Vashi Since the bill introduced
Arrival of Vehicles laden with commodities at APMC Vashi Since the bill introduced
Commodities witness drop in arrival during April-September
Commodities witness drop in arrival during April-September

The arrival of vehicles laden with commodities at APMC Vashi started soon after the Farm Bill came into existence. The ordinance was brought in on June 6 and the arrival of vehicles with commodities during the month was 5053 as against 6842 in 2019 of the same period and it kept in the following months.

Lockdown is also seen as one of the reasons for a drop in arrival. There were due restrictions prevailing in large parts of the country. In addition, crop damage especially onion is also seen as another reason. However, traders say that Farmer Produce Organisation or companies are skipping APMCs.

Bhanushali says that the intention to weaken APMC will impact the employment of more than 5 crores traders and other stakeholders across the country. He added, “This will be a win-win situation if the government ensures that farmers do not need to pay any tax, they sell their produces within or outside the market.”

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