New Delhi: National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (NAFED) on Wednesday said that it will soon facilitate selling of potatoes in Punjab to avoid farmers making distressed sale. NAFED is finalising modalities with the state government and most likely will start providing market linkages to potato farmers this week.
Punjab farmers are resorting to distressed sale due to excess production of potatoes this year. Farmers are selling the vegetable at as low as Rs 2-3/kg. “We will facilitate where ever they (Punjab farmers) want to sell potatoes, may be in the Delhi market or states where there is deficit,” NAFED MD Sanjeev Kumar Chadha said.
“The cooperative will not invest but will work with the state government. The market linkages will be facilitated, provided the state government gives transport subsidy of Rs 2 per kg to farmers,” he said. “When potato rates are ruling at Rs 2 per kg, farmers cannot afford to spend Rs 3 per kg for transportation,” he said. “The moment the state government gives subsidy, we will ensure transparent disposal and payment to farmers,” Chadha said. NAFED is working on three options to help Punjab farmers. One is that farmers can get their produce to Delhi’s Azadpur mandi and the cooperative will help them sell through the auction process. The other option is to facilitate market linkages in potato deficit states and the third is cold storage chain facilities, the NAFED official said.
NAFED is currently applying this model and helping the Gujarat government to dispose of potato and tomato. Recently, Odisha government has sought help of the cooperative for selling tomato. The country’s overall potato output is estimated to increase to 438.8 lakh tonne in 2016-17 crop year of July-June from 434.17 lakh tonne last year. Similarly, tomato production is slightly higher at 189.11 lakh tonne this year.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook