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Storage, Marketing and Pricing

The storage, pricing and marketing of agricultural commodities is as important for high profits as the process of production. This is the reason why the government since 1951 has laid stress on the development of physical markets, on farm and off farm storage structures, facilities for standardization and grading, packaging and transportation through different Five Year Plans.

Lack of proper storage facilities leads to attacks by pests and other organisms. The damage caused through such infestations leads to a reduction in market value depending upon the extent of damage. In some cases the produce is declared unfit for consumption and has to be destroyed. This leads to a huge loss for the farmer. Sensible farmers should take pains to store their agricultural produce carefully so as to command the most optimum price in the market.

Most agricultural commodity markets usually function under the regular forces of demand and supply. The government also fixes minimum support prices or statutory prices for certain crops in order to protect the interests of farmers and encourage them to increase production. If the price of these commodities falls below the support limit, the government arranges to buy these crops on state account.

The government supports organized marketing of agricultural products through a system of regulated markets in India. These physical markets are meant to make sure that farmers get reasonable profits by creating an atmosphere of fair play. This fairness is with regard to the forces of supply and demand, regulation of market practices and transparency in transactions.

Here is some information about local storage warehouses; marketing networks and commodity prices that will help you get a good value for your agricultural produce.

Location of Markets

To achieve an efficient system of buying and selling of agricultural commodities, most State Governments and Union Territories have enacted legislations like the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act to provide for regulation of agricultural produce markets. These regulated physical markets have been established to ensure a reasonable amount of profits to agriculturalists for their crops and other agricultural products.

At the time of independence there were only around 286 regulated markets in India. Currently, there are more than 7,500 such markets in the country. Most of these regulated markets are wholesale markets. Other than these markets there are also around 30,000 rural periodical markets of which 15 per cent function under the ambit of regulation. Presently, the average reach of a single regulated market is 459 square kms. This means that farmers have to travel a long distance with their produce to avail this facility. The Central and State Governments are in the process of creating more regulated markets so that the command area of each market does not extend beyond 80 square kms.

Basic facilities such as internal roads, boundary walls, electric lights, loading and unloading facilities and weighing equipment are available at more than 80 per cent of the markets. Farmers' rest houses exist in more than half of the regulated markets. Infrastructures that the government plans to extend to all regulated markets are auction platforms, drying yards and cold storage units.

Here is a Comprehensive List of State-Wise Mandis (External website that opens in a new window).

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on:08-02-2011