Agricultural marketing articles
01. Importance and Objectives of Agricultural Marketing in India
02. Inadequacies of Present Marketing System
03. Characteristics of Agricultural Products
04. Agricultural Marketing in India
05. Improvement of Agricultural Marketing System
06. Cooperative Marketing in India
07. Warehousing in India
08. Ideal Marketing System
09. Scientific Marketing of Farm Products
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Article on agricultural marketing in india and its systems. This article explains Scientific Marketing of Farm Products ...
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Improvement of Agricultural Marketing System
Government of India has adopted a number of measures to improve agricultural marketing, the important ones being - establishment of regulated markets, construction of warehouses, provision for grading, and standarization of produce, standarisation of weight and measures, daily broadcasting of market prices of agricultural crops on All India Radio, improvement of transport facilities, etc.
1. Marketing surveys
In the first place the government has undertaken marketing surveys of various goods and has published these surveys. These surveys have brought out the various problems connected with the marketing of goods and have made suggestions for their removal.
2. Grading and standardization
The government has done much to grade and standardize many agricultural goods. Under the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marketing) Act the Government has set up grading stations for commodities like ghee, flour, eggs, etc. The graded goods are stamped with the seal of the Agricultural Marketing Department -AGMARK The «Agmark" goods have a wider market and command better prices.
A Central Quality Control Laboratory has been set up at Nagpur and eight other regional laboratories in different parts of the country with the purpose of testing the quality and quality of agricultural products applying for the Government's "Agmark" have been created The Government is further streamlining quality control enforcement and inspection and improvement in grading.
3. Organization of regulated markets
Regulated markets have been organized with a view to protect the farmers from the malpractices of sellers and brokers. The management of such markets is done by a market committee which has nominees of the State Government, local bodies, arhatiyas, brokers and farmers. Thus all interests are represented on the committee. These committees are appointed by the Government for a specified period of time. Important functions performed by the committees can be summarized as follows.
a. fixation of charges for weighing, brokerages etc., b. prevention of unauthorized deductions, underhand dealings, and wrong practices by the arhatiyas, c. enforcing the use of standardized weights, d. providing up to date and reliable market information to the farmers, and e. settling of disputes among the parties arising out of market operations.
The system of regulated markets has been found to be very useful in removing fraudulent practices followed by brokers and commission agents and in standardizing market practices. The committee is responsible for the licensing of brokers and weightmen. It is nested with powers to punish anyone who is found guilty of dishonest and fraudulent practices. 1t is the policy of the government to convert all markets in the country into the regulated type.
Regulated markets aim at the development of the marketing structure to have the following.
1) ensure remunerative price to the producer of agricultural commodities,
2) reduce non functional margins of the traders and commission agents, and
3) narrow down the price spread between the producer and the consumer.
To achieve these objectives, the government would go in for comprehensive and rapid expansion of regulated marketing systems. The success achieved in states like Punjab and Haryana, where regulated markets have been established in major producing areas with linked up satellite markets in the rural growth centres would be aimed at, in other areas where intensive production is taken up. The regulating marketing system has also proved a good source of generating income for the marketing boards and for use in rural infrastructure. The regulated market complex will also include facilities for grading and for monitoring of prices.
The development of regulated markets is proposed especially in areas where commercial crops like cotton, jute, tobacco and important non-traditional crops are produced and sold in weekly markets and hats. Co-operative marketing and distribution and banking will also be linked with the regulated markets. These markets will cover all the major crops. Separate market yards are proposed for livestock, fish, fruits and vegetables.
There are now over than 6,050 regulated markets with the establishment of these regulated markets. The malpractices in mandies have disappeared and the market charges have been rationalized. As much as 70% of agricultural produce is now sold in regulated markets.
In this connection, the steps taken to standardize the weight and measures in the country should be mentioned. The government has successfully replaced the different systems of weights and measures prevalent in the country with the metric system.
4. Provision of warehousing facilities
To prevent distress sale by the farmers, particularly the small and marginal farmers, due to prevailing low prices, rural go downs have been set up. The government has done much to provide warehousing in towns and villages.The Central Warehousing Corporation was set up in 1957 with the purpose of constructing and running go downs and warehouses for the storage of agricultural produce. The states has set-up the State Warehousing Corporations with the same purpose. At present the Food Corporation is constructing its own network of go downs in different parts of the country. The total storage capacity in the country was 27 million tonnes at the end of the sixth plan.
5. Dissemination of market information
The government has peen giving attention to the broadcasting of market information to the farmers. Since most villages have radio sets, these broadcasts are actually heard by farmers. The newspapers also publish agricultural prices either daily or weekly accompanied by a short review of trends.
6. Directorate of marketing and inspection
The directorate was set up by the Government of India to co-ordinate the agricultural marketing of various agencies and to advise the Central and State Governments on the problems of agricultural marketing. Activities of this directorate includes the following.
a. promotion of grading and standardization of agricultural and allied commodities; b. statutory regulation of markets and market practices; c. training of personnel; d. market extension; e. market research, survey and planning and f. administration of Old Storage Order, 1980 and Meat Food Products Order, 1973.
The directorate has so far formulated grade specification for 142 agricultural commodities. It enforces compulsory quality control before export on as many as 41 agricultural commodities. It is extending financial assistance to selected regulated markets for providing grading facilities for important commodities like tobacco, jute, cotton, groundnut and cashew nut at the producers level.
An allied task is the one related to marketing research and survey. This should aim at determination of best handling methods of produce to minimize losses, damage and costs, improved methods of wholesaling and retailing and planning for new marketing facilities at appropriate centres. With this aim in view, the Directorate is currently implementing two schemes.
-Market research and planning.
-Market planning and design.
Under the former scheme, the Directorate has been carrying out country-wide marketing surveys on live-stock and important agricultural and horticultural commodities to identify and study the problems of agricultural marketing. Under the latter scheme, the Directctorate has set up a Marketing Planning and Design Centre at Faridabad and a training centre and Workshop at Nagpur to study the packaging grading and marketing of selected fruits and vegetable and also advise the authorities on the designing of fruits and vegetable markets.
7. Government purchases and fixation of support prices
In addition to the measures mentioned above, the Government also announces minimum support price for various agricultural commodities from time to time in a bid to ensure fair returns to the farmers. These prices are fixed in accordance with the recommendations of the Agricultural ,Price Commission.
If the prices start falling below the declared level (say, as a result of glut in the market), the Government agencies like the Food Corporation of India intervene in the market to make direct purchase from the farmers at the support prices. These purchases are sold off by the Government at reasonable price through the public distribution system.
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