'Traditional farm products marketing system is bad'

Traditional marketing system of fruits and vegetables is unfavourable for farmers as major share of consumer rupee is pocketed by traders, said a spokesman of Punjab agriculture department on Sunday. Farmers get low price for their produce whereas the consumers had to spend more for poor quality products available in the markets, added the spokesman.

Punjab state marketing board had already started ‘farmers’s market’ to give boost to small farmers so as to provide direct access to consumers, by eliminating the middlemen. It is also known as the ‘apni mandi’ because it belongs to both the farmers and the consumers who can mutually help each other.

The spokesman said government agricultural offices at sub-divisional headquarters were not concentrated at one place and farmers have to shuttle from one corner of the town to another. The board has initiated a scheme for construction of ‘vikas bhawans’ at all sub-divisional headquarters. About 18 ‘vikas bhawans’ have already been completed at a cost of Rs 411.86 lakh. The departments of agriculture, horticulture, soil conservation, animal husbandry, food and civil supplies, fisheries, food corporation of India, MARKFED and PUNSUP will have their administrative offices located in each of these complexes.

These bhawans have been constructed with a view to house offices related to farmers under one roof at Ajnala, Tarn Taran, Patti, Fazilka, Abohar, Nabha, Malerkotla, Batala, Dasuya, Phagwara, Zira, Sunam, Barnala, Gurdaspur, Mukatsar, and Jagraon in Ludhiana.

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