Vashi: Minister for Cooperation and Marketing, Chandrakant Patil visited the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) at Vashi on Tuesday and discussed farmers’ issue with traders’ representative. He also discussed the issue of restraining agents from collecting commission from farmers.
According to APMC directors, Patil will hold a meeting with marketing director on January 20 to take a decision on whether to restrain agents collecting commissions from farmers or not. Last year, the director of marketing had restrained agents from collecting commissions from farmers. However, the state government stayed on the decision following traders threatened to go on indefinite strike.
Patil also discussed different issues of farmers who bring different commodities everyday at the wholesale market from different parts of the state. “This was a formal visit of minister to look into farmers issues including agents collecting commission from farmers,” said Sanjay Pansare, director of fruit market.
The state government wants agents at wholesale market to collect commission from consumers, not from farmers. Currently, farmers auction their produce to agents, who charge some amount of commission.
On the other hand, agents have justified the commission, saying they help farmers get the best deal for their
produce. “We help farmers to sell their goods instantly with immediate payment. If there is no commission, agents and farmers will face problems while selling goods and recovering payment,” said Ashok Walunj, director of onion-potato market of APMC, Vashi. He added, “Since we help them, we deserve the rightful revenue.”
The agents get a commission of 3% to 6% of the sold goods and for years, the commission agents were being accused of gaining profits at the cost of farmers. The allegation was that the fruits and vegetables are perishable goods, and so farmers had no choice but to bend to the whims and fancies of the agents. However, agents deny such exploitation.