Constraints in Marketing Farm Produces
Marketing of agricultural commodities in Manipur has not been systematically organized till date. Innumerable farm produces have not even crossed the state’s boundary due to its strategic geographical location. Maximum benefits of the farmers and entrepreneurs have been deprived off by the middleman / brokers etc. This is mainly because of non existence of Regulted Market. Till now Agricultural Produce Market Committees have not been established in the state. The middlemen enjoy the cream at the cost of ignorant, illiteracy etc., of the poor farmers. A small part of the price paid by buyers reach the farmers while the middlemen enjoys the maximum benefits. Farmers are handicapped mainly in securing a fair and reasonable price for their produces. The reasons are many i.e lack of market news and information coupled with inadequate credit support ungraded produce, no AGMARK Laboratory, inadequate storage and warehousing facility etc. consequently the farmer may dispose of his surplus produces by many ways. The first and the most common method is to sell away his surplus produce to the village money-lender-cum-trader, who may buy it either on his own or as an agent of a bigger merchant of the neighbouring Mandi town. Now, the only option to facilitate reaching maximum return to the producers and to increase production by exploiting the existing potentials are to extend maximum marketing support – to enforce Regulated Market Act, to keep the producers/ farmers well informed of the present demand of the commodities and existing market rates of different commodities at different collection centers / markets of the State and outside the state. This could be facilitated by means of publishing a bi-lingual Market Bulletin (Manipuri Local Language and English) to be circulated in all the District Hqtrs. of the State. Uptill now in Manipur, there is no any private organization or corporate body to disseminate market information/news pertaining to availability of commodities and prevailing price for the benefit of producers and consumers. Consequently, neither the producers nor the consumers are aware of the prevailing prices in different Markets of the State. The daily market rate available for few selected commodities through AGMARKNET Portal of the DMI is not accessible by the farmers of the state. It would take some years for the farmers of Manipur to access AGMARKNET Portal through Computers. Therefore, under the present situation print media is the only option for disseminating market news for promoting agribusiness.