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Amid lockdown, Gujarat farmers take to ‘work from home’

Get the job done from house is not always an possibility for just white-collar staff....

Get the job done from house is not always an possibility for just white-collar staff. Farmers, who commonly provide their crops through an established provide chain by way of Agricultural Deliver Market Committees (APMCs), now have the means to prevent current market yards and provide their make from house.

With almost all the States imposing a lockdown to prohibit the unfold of the coronavirus, most APMCs have downed the shutters, bringing commodity buying and selling to a grinding halt. Having said that, farmers have held an possibility open up for themselves — with ‘off-market’ product sales or what they connect with ‘sell-from-farm’.

Dual rewards

In Gujarat, producers of oilseeds, grains and spices are significantly turning to off-current market product sales. “This is a useful proposition for us on two counts,” Ramesh Patel, a farmer from Visavadar taluka in Junagadh district, advised Businessline. “First, we do not incur transportation prices. 2nd, we do not need to have to pay out fee and other labour fees that we commonly do at the APMC.”

Off-current market product sales are not a new phenomenon, however. Authorities note that this sort of a system did exist previously, with a considerable quantity of crops receiving offered by way of that method. “But what is critical to note below is that the APMCs are shut at all big marketplaces,” pointed out Vitthal Dudhatara, President of the Gujarat device of the Bhartiya Kisan Sangh. “Also, there are restrictions on movement. In a state of affairs like this, farmers have no possibility but to sit house with their make lying on the area. Therefore, extra and extra farmers are now resorting to this method of trade mainly because they need to have money instantly so that by March-finish they can repay their financial loan obligations.”

It is peak harvest year for crops this sort of as wheat, oilseeds and spices, and they need to have to be offered ahead of any climatic adversity strikes. “We are fearing unseasonal rains in the later on aspect of this week. This poses a danger to the harvested crop. So it is much better that farmers provide the crops as early as probable,” mentioned Dudhatara.

How it functions

The consumer — typically a trader or wholesaler — continues to be in touch with a broker or an agent from the village and will get an update about the readiness of the crop. When the farmer informs the broker about his crop being ready for cargo, the trader is updated and the value and other transportation preparations are made the decision on. The agent is compensated by the trader, with the farmer not obtaining to shell out any money.

Patel, who has a 5-acre land and grows wheat, mentioned advertising from the farm-gate is a successful proposition for him. For occasion, he mentioned, he just lately offered wheat at ₹1,665 per quintal from his farm-gate. “I obtained at minimum ₹200 extra than what I would at the APMC. In addition to that I need to have not spend on transportation from my farm to the APMC and no labour charge is demanded. So this provides me a increased revenue,” he mentioned.

The APMC cess — payable to the APMCs of the taluka — continues to be applicable to off-current market transactions, way too.

At a time when APMCs are shut and provide chains are disrupted, the off-current market product sales design presents a way out for farmers, who are commonly the most vulnerable to normal calamities and current market-driven fluctuations.