State government encourages farmers to negate middlemen
In a bid to negate the involvement of middlemen that leads to price rise, the state government is encouraging farmers to form small groups for selling their crops directly either to the state government or in the open market.
A meeting will be held in this regard at Bhasa Bhavan on July 11 and state Agriculture Minister Purnendu Basu will be among the officials attending the programme. This is the first time when such an initiative has been taken in the state.
It had been found that due to heavy involvement of middlemen in the past, there have been hikes in the prices of different commodities despite their availability in excess. Such problems would not exist if the farmers would get an opportunity to sell their cultivation directly in the market.
Representatives of more than 100 farmer organisations will be attending the programme where the priority will be given on formation of small registered groups. A senior official of the state agriculture department said: “Around five to six farmers from a particular area will come together and form a group and they can operate collectively to sell their goods directly to the market with the help of the state government. It would also help them to get different benefits from the union government.”
At present, the state government has around 50 specialised vehicles to collect crops from farmers and carry them to the market. The vehicles were engaged to help farmers to sell their produce directly to consumers. The state agriculture department will procure 10 more such vehicles and the agriculture marketing department too will do the same.
The state government also has plans to buy air-conditioned vehicles for the same purpose, as it will ensure that the vegetables will not rot if transported to distant markets. The state government can also give one such vehicle to the farmers once they form the groups and ask them to operate the vehicle themselves to take vegetables and fruits to the market for direct selling instead of engaging with middlemen.