Why do you pay for vegetables a price which is 4 times the amount that farmers receive?
The answer is simple. Until now, as per prevailing regulations, farmers were not allowed to sell directly to consumers. A multi-layered system of middlemen exists in the process of distribution from farm to fork. The local trader from the village or the nearest town buys produce from the farmer and sells it to the wholesaler at the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs). The wholesaler in turn sells to retailers from whom the ultimate consumer buys. This long supply chain involves costs towards like grading, packaging, labour, transport, commissions and margins resulting in cost escalation by 3 to 4 times. And in this rigmarole, farmers fail to get a fair price for their produce.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Under the ‘National Initiative for Vegetables in Urban Clusters’, some State Governments have removed fruit and vegetables from the control of APMCs, thereby allowing farmers to directly sell produce to consumers. Other State Governments are likely to follow suit.
Buy directly from growers whenever it is possible…
Buying directly from growers and farmers is a win-win situation for them as well as to you as a consumer. While you will save almost 35-40% as compared to the retail price prevailing in the market, the grower’s earnings would be almost double. And the vegetables and fruits would be fresher.
Please refer to the ‘Resources’ section below and if you reside in a city where growers or their organizations deal directly with customers, do take advantage of the situation by buying from the former. Other consumers can access portals set-up by growers and buy online and receive produce at their doorstep.