Amid lockdown, Gujarat farmers take to ‘work from home’

Elvera Bartels

Perform from residence is not essentially an solution for just white-collar staff. Farmers, who commonly provide their crops by using an proven supply chain by Agricultural Deliver Current market Committees (APMCs), now have the signifies to prevent marketplace yards and provide their generate from residence.

With virtually all the States imposing a lockdown to limit the unfold of the coronavirus, most APMCs have downed the shutters, bringing commodity investing to a grinding halt. However, farmers have retained an solution open up for them selves — with ‘off-market’ revenue or what they phone ‘sell-from-farm’.

Twin positive aspects

In Gujarat, producers of oilseeds, grains and spices are increasingly turning to off-marketplace revenue. “This is a useful proposition for us on two counts,” Ramesh Patel, a farmer from Visavadar taluka in Junagadh district, instructed Businessline. “First, we don’t incur transportation expenditures. Next, we don’t require to shell out fee and other labour expenses that we commonly do at the APMC.”

Off-marketplace revenue aren’t a new phenomenon, although. Gurus be aware that these types of a system did exist before, with a major amount of crops obtaining offered by that manner. “But what is crucial to be aware below is that the APMCs are shut at all main markets,” pointed out Vitthal Dudhatara, President of the Gujarat device of the Bhartiya Kisan Sangh. “Also, there are restrictions on motion. In a situation like this, farmers have no solution but to sit residence with their generate lying on the field. Therefore, additional and additional farmers are now resorting to this manner of trade simply because they require revenue immediately so that by March-conclude they can repay their loan obligations.”

It is peak harvest year for crops these types of as wheat, oilseeds and spices, and they require to be offered ahead of any climatic adversity strikes. “We are fearing unseasonal rains in the later part of this 7 days. This poses a danger to the harvested crop. So it is superior that farmers provide the crops as early as attainable,” explained Dudhatara.

How it functions

The consumer — usually a trader or wholesaler — stays in touch with a broker or an agent from the village and receives an update about the readiness of the crop. After the farmer informs the broker about his crop staying ready for cargo, the trader is current and the price and other transportation preparations are determined on. The agent is compensated by the trader, with the farmer not getting to shell out any revenue.

Patel, who has a 5-acre land and grows wheat, explained offering from the farm-gate is a profitable proposition for him. For occasion, he explained, he recently offered wheat at ₹1,665 for each quintal from his farm-gate. “I acquired at least ₹200 additional than what I would at the APMC. In addition to that I require not spend on transportation from my farm to the APMC and no labour price tag is necessary. So this offers me a better earnings,” he explained.

The APMC cess — payable to the APMCs of the taluka — carries on to be applicable to off-marketplace transactions, also.

At a time when APMCs are shut and supply chains are disrupted, the off-marketplace revenue model gives a way out for farmers, who are commonly the most susceptible to purely natural calamities and marketplace-driven fluctuations.

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