Through Ajit Kanitkar*, Pune, Maharashtra
Within the Indian context, any dialogue round advertising agricultural produce of farmers starts with miserable statistics. It tells us of lack of such a lot of thousand heaps of clean produce rotten and wasted within the post-production and post-harvest cycle. It’s then argued that the rustic wishes to speculate closely in post-production infrastructure and make sure reforms within the advertising of agricultural produce in order that farmers have choices to promote outdoor the prevailing channels of agricultural produce advertising committees (APMC), popularly referred to as mandis.
Some mavens even move a step additional in arguing that farmers must if truth be told time their produce and convey what the marketplace desires. They propagate goals similar to from farm to the fork or plough to plate. Whilst those are essential macro-economic discussions, a small experiment is underway in Pune for the previous 365 days. Those are weekly farmers’ markets that at the moment are catching the eye of the present and aspiring political elegance too, but even so getting higher patronage from each farmers and concrete shoppers.
Some mavens even move a step additional in arguing that farmers must if truth be told time their produce and convey what the marketplace desires.
To a rural citizen, this city phenomenon of a weekly marketplace may no longer sound fascinating in any respect. There are literally thousands of weekly markets, popularly referred to as rural haats, that are arranged in every nook of the rustic. A weekly haat gives time and house to masses of small and marginal farmers and different small and micro-enterprises to marketplace their agricultural produce week after week. Where and time is pre-determined. One of the most hawkers transfer from at some point to every other day to marketplace their produce. The similar thought appears to be catching up in towns similar to Pune.
For city shoppers, the weekly farmers’ markets are yet another supply for purchasing their day-to-day inventory of greens. This isn’t to mention that this isn’t helpful. If one appears to be like on the rising city marketplace in towns like Pune, a up to date phenomenon that is going on is that most of the conventional grocery shops have slowly expanded their bodily house and in addition their provider choices. So in most cases, a grocery store similar to a Mahalakshmi or a Hanuman retailer (also referred to as as kirana store within the native language) now have greens displayed on the market on the front of the store.
The normal cellular merchandising carts are most certainly at the decline no less than within the center and high-income localities of town.
The normal cellular merchandising carts are most certainly at the decline no less than within the center and high-income localities of town. Those at the moment are changed via everlasting vegetable distributors — regularly on encroached footpaths and walkways — that promote their stuff within the evenings. A brand new addition to those choices is cellular vegetable stores. A small car is parked at a hectic junction on main roads, the car dubbing up as a cellular store containing diversified fruit and veggies. Within the above state of affairs, a weekly farmers marketplace is yet another possibility for the city shopper.
Standard weekly marketplace
The weekly markets are arranged within the residential spaces, ideally in an open plot of land. The marketplace is positioned in an open and vacant plot both of the company and or of the housing society or a public minded citizen agreeing to make to be had the land for a nominal hire. The association is mutually handy because the marketplace purposes only for an afternoon of the week and that too for a couple of hours within the morning. The related hassles for land-related preparations are nominal.
The weekly markets are arranged within the residential spaces, ideally in an open plot of land.
The marketplace does no longer have any infrastructure apart from a vacant piece of land in the middle of densely populated space of town in most cases having quite a few residential residences. On Sundays, a bunch of 50 to 60n farmers from neighbouring villages and a few so far as 50 km convey their produce. A majority of these farmers have their very own delivery automobiles that they use for bringing the greens.
The produce is displayed beneath a makeshift construction created for the aim. The marketplace begins round eight am and will get over via midday. Most commonly recent and seasonal greens are to be had. Some farmer teams have additionally began bringing culmination and promoting some processed produce such jowar and bajra flour. Relying at the location of the marketplace, about 400 to 500 consumers are estimated to be visiting the weekly marketplace.
Those markets be offering greens which might be at once delivered to the marketplace from the sector. The weekly marketplace additionally gives shoppers choices to shop for many seasonal greens at their doorsteps. When it comes to costs, since there are different competing merchandising retailers, some even on the subject of 10 meters within the neighborhood of the weekly farmers markets, the costs are aggressive.
Every other merit that I see is that such markets for the primary time be offering an opportunity to an city shopper to look the face of the farmer. Right here one encounters a farmer and infrequently even his members of the family who’ve accompanied the famer at once promoting his produce. I’ve noticed some conversations going down after the transactions are over.
Closing however no longer the least, native political leaders see this as a excellent alternative to attain some brownie issues. For them, this can be a helpful match to inform their constituency that they’re doing one thing for them as additionally for the farmers. I’ve noticed many posters and enormous show of hoardings the place even the ministers are invited for the inauguration of the weekly markets.
Do those markets paintings for farmers?
Those markets are weekly and therefore whilst providing a walk in the park to shoppers for a predefined day for the marketplace (normally Sundays), they don’t be offering flexibility to farmers. In different phrases, those markets can not and won’t handle all of the farm produce team of farmers could have. The farming gadget in our nation isn’t that arranged that farmers will plant greens in the sort of method that those are in a position just for the sort of marketplace on a Sunday. A weekly marketplace can not exchange a well-functioning APMC marketplace. On the other hand, it’s yet another possibility for farmers.
The weekly markets also are unsure in the case of its position because the position is normally made to be had at the foundation of the goodwill of the in the neighborhood elected baby-kisser or a social employee. The similar position needn’t be to be had if the landlord of where so makes a decision.
Those markets are weekly and therefore whilst providing a walk in the park to shoppers for a predefined day for the marketplace (normally Sundays), they don’t be offering flexibility to farmers
All the way through days of rains (no less than 15 to 30 days in a three-month cycle), where can’t be used, because it does no longer have any everlasting fastened infrastructure similar to raised platform and or a shed. Many of the open areas within the town within the ultimate two months have been inundated with water right through the monsoon and thus fallacious for containing a marketplace.
A very powerful limitation, on the other hand, is the size of operations of such weekly markets. Our estimate is that as of now, there will probably be at maximum about 20 such weekly markets (this quantity could also be at the upper facet) in several localities of Pune town. For a inhabitants of over 6 million and every weekly marketplace accommodating on the subject of 30 to 50 farmers on the maximum, the weekly marketplace isn’t actually an way to different current channels of gross sales be it APMC and or different decentralized new merchandising programs which might be propping up in all portions of town.
Even assuming that identical operations start to scale up, Pune may want on the subject of 500 such weekly markets throughout all portions of town to cater to the rising center elegance marketplace. Even after assuming that such a lot of weekly markets do arise, the ones can be offering outlet for no more than 25,000 farmers at highest.
Right here once more, one is assuming that each one farmers have the method of delivery at their disposal to convey their produce to the towns. A weekly marketplace via its design will accommodate restricted participation of each shoppers and farmers. Thus, whilst this can be a helpful intervention if noticed from the standpoint of an city shopper, it’s sorely insufficient if noticed as a farmer.
Ajit Kanitkar is a Advisor for Tata Training and Construction Consider and a Member of the analysis staff at Centre for Construction and Analysis in Pune. Previous to this, he was once Program Officer at Ford Basis, India administrative center, and Swiss Company for Construction and Cooperation, each in New Delhi. He taught at Institute of Rural Control, Anand, right through 1992-1995.
Perspectives are non-public.
This text was once first printed on VillageSquare.in, a public-interest communications platform curious about rural India.
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