In order to avoid distress selling of potato in Punjab, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) is planning to facilitate its selling across major state markets.
NAFED is confirming the modalities with Punjab government to start offering market linkages this week to the farmers growing potatoes.
On account of a surplus potato production this year, farmers in Punjab are finding it difficult to sell the potatoes at a high cost. They are trading it at lower prices of Rs 2-3/kg. At such a lower cost, the farmers cannot even afford to spend Rs 3 per kg for transportation.
At present, the wholesale rate for potatoes in Punjab is below Rs 300 per quintal as against the production cost of Rs 500 per quintal. However, NAFED claims that they will try to touch almost every market, be it Delhi or any other states where the farmers are interested in selling.
Though the cooperative is not expected to invest but will work with the state government. NAFED clarified that the market linkages will be enabled if the state government provides Rs 2 subsidy to the farmers.
As soon as the government will provide a subsidy, there will be a transparency in payment and disposals to farmers.
There are three options on which NAFED will be working upon. Firstly, farmers can sell their produce at the Delhi Azadpur Mandi while the cooperative will help them sell through auction. Secondly, market linkages will be facilitated in the states with potato deficiency. Thirdly, cold storage chain facilities will be provided.
Recently, Odisha government also took help of the cooperative for facilitating the selling of tomatoes.
In the crop year 2016-2017, the country’s overall potato production is estimated to climb up to 438.8 lakh tons in as compared with 434.17 lakh tons last year.
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