Badal wants middlemen out

Having opposed inflow of foreign capital in retail trade under pressure from alliance partner BJP, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday advocated wholesale market management for farmers that could eliminate middlemen in the business.

“We need to adopt world’s best practices of wholesale market management for the marketing of fruits and vegetables in the state to ensure remunerative returns to the farmers, especially the small and marginal ones,” Badal said in his address at an international conference on wholesale markets here.

Badal said the cooperative system was the best option to facilitate interstate marketing of fruits and vegetables from Punjab in about 50 major cities across the country having big markets and a population of over one million.

“This system provided better price to small producers by eliminating middlemen and reducing the transport cost,” Badal said.

He said the “White Revolution” model of Verghese Kurien, who played an exemplary role to make India the world’s largest milk producer through its successful cooperative marketing network in India, could be replicated for the vegetables and fruits market.

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