Agriculture Marketing
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Agricultural Marketing & Agri-Business :: Markets & Co-Operatives
Farmers Markets Uzhavar Santhai   

Introduction

Agriculture occupies a very important role in the growth of economy of our country, which is also the backbone of the economic system. India is primarily an agricultural country. The prosperity of the Indian economy is dependent on the course of agricultural production. Of course, agriculture contributes a major share of the national income of India. In India, agriculture meets almost the entire food requirements of the people. Agriculture also provides fodder to sustain livestock whose number runs to several crores.

In the field of agriculture, marketing determines the value of the agricultural product in terms of money and delivers them to the final customer. Most of the farmers sell their produce through village level markets, fairs, Mandies, Co-operative Societies etc. In the above process of agricultural marketing, the middlemen exploit farmers as well as consumers. In order to eliminate the middlemen between farmers and consumers, the Government of Tamilnadu introduced the new concept, namely “UZHAVAR SANTHAI” in 1999.                     

Generally, the middlemen and wholesale businessmen purchase the Agricultural products from the farmers at a lower price. They also get the commission from the farmers for the transactions made. In turn, fresh vegetables and fruits purchased at the lower price from the farmers are sold out to retail businessmen at higher price and the retail businessmen sell those Agricultural Products further at higher price to the consumers. As a result, the farmers get only the lower price for their produce whereas the consumers have to pay higher price for the same produce. Hence, the Government of Tamilnadu has introduced an alternate scheme of marketing, which is known as “UZHAVAR SANTHAI” in order to derive more benefits to the farmers as well as consumers.

Aim:

  • To facilitate direct contact between the farmers and public.
  • To provide fresh vegetables and fruits at reasonable price daily without any interference of middlemen.
  • To provide correct measurement to the consumers.
  • To give full satisfaction to the farmers and public.
  • To aim for providing higher price than that of wholesale price to the farmers for their vegetables and fruits.
  • To provide the fresh fruits and vegetables at the lesser price than that of retail price to consumers.
  • The Uzhavar Santhai also functions as a Technical Information Centre to the farmers
  • It also acts as a Technical Training Centre to the farmers.
  • Seeds and Other Inputs are also provided in some Uzhavar Sandhais

Salient features

The prices of the vegetables and fruits are daily fixed at the average of 20 % higher than the wholesale prices and 15% less than retail prices by the Committee consisting of the representatives of farmers and officials.

    1. The prices of vegetables and fruits are daily displayed in front of each shop as well as exhibited in big signboards of the market and it is ensured by the Department staff that the fruits and vegetables are sold at the fixed rates.
    2. Horticultural Department officials identify vegetable growing farmers in the villages and photo identification cards are issued to those farmers.
    3. Shops are allotted at free of cost to the farmers who bring their produce on first come first served basis and shops are not permanently allotted to farmers.
    4. Aavin, Tan tea stalls are also set up in some places.
    5. The farmers are permitted to bring their produce without any fair for their luggage in special trips from the villages to Uzhavar Santhais
    6. Hill vegetables are sold in Uzhavar Santhais through women self help groups, Cooperative Societies.
    7. Weighing scales are provided at free of cost for the use of farmers and they are retrieved after the sale proceedings are over.
    8. Sanitation is being maintained. In some places vermicomposting of vegetable wastes is also done.
    9. Ex-Servicemen /Private security agencies have also been used for the security of the market.
    10. Telephone facilities, Vehicle stand, Canteen, Toilet facilities have also been provided.
    11. The Uzhavar Santhais are functioning on all the days of the week.
    12. Water supply is available in the Uzhavar Santhai.
    13. To sell unsold items on the next day, storage facilities are available.

Organisation

The location of the “Uzhavar Santhai” is of utmost importance. The Uzhavar Santhais are located in a consumer area, where the consumers can approach to the market easily. In fact, the main intention is to ensure the urban character of the location, so that adequate number of consumers will benefit from the market. The first Uzhavar Sandhai of the state was inaugurated on 14.11.1999 at Madurai and 100th Uzhavar Sandhai on 14.11.2000 at Pallavaram. 103 Uzhavar Santhais were established between 14.11.1999 and 30.4.2001. 28 Uzhavar Santhais, which were closed between 2001 and 2005, were reopened during June 2006 and an amount of Rs.42.00 lakhs was spent for the renovation of 103 Uzhavar Santhais. At Present 103 Uzhavar Santhais are functioning with full vigor. The new concept of Uzhavar Santhai is implemented in Tamilnadu in massive scale. All Uzhavar Santhai are maintained by Agricultural Marketing Department and manned by the staff of the Department of Agricultural Marketing, Agriculture, and Horticulture. The District Collector is the coordinator for running the Uzhavar Santhai successfully in the Districts whereas in State as a whole, the scheme is implemented by the Director of Agricultural Marketing and Agribusiness, Chennai-32.

Staff pattern of Uzhavar Sandai

Sl.No Name of the staff Grade Nos
1 Uzhavar Sandai Administrative Officer Agricultural Officer 1
2 Uzhavar Sandai Assistant Administrative Officer Assistant Agricultural Officer 3
3 Uzhavar Sandai Assistant Administrative Officer Assistant Agricultural Officer (Horticulture) 1
4 Watchman Employed thro private security agencies with consolidated pay of not more than Rs 1500/ per month. 3
5 Scavenger On consolidated basis @ Rs 1500/ per month 1
6 Sandai Paniyalargal On redeployment from Makkal Nala Paniyalargal 2
Total 11

The duties assigned to the staff are as follows

Sl.No Name of the staff Duties
1 Uzhavar Sandai Administrative Officer
  1. Price fixation and declare the price after collecting wholesale and retail market price, discussion with farmers’ group
  2. Supervision of allotment of shops
  3. Supervision of sales procedures
  4. Collection of charges for vehicles
  5. Checking farmers’ Identity cards.
  6. To monitor and ensure the sale of vegetables and fruits at the price fixed by the administration
  7. Administration of Uzhavar Sandai and all works related to it.
2 Uzhavar Sandai Assistant Administrative Officer (1)
  1.  Allotment of shops to farmers after checking Identity cards
  Uzhavar Sandai Assistant Administrative Officer (2)
  1. Issue of weighing balances, weights etc to farmers and to collect it back
  2. Maintenance of registers.
  Uzhavar Sandai Assistant AdministrativeOfficer(3)
  1. To record item wise arrivals of vegetables and preparation of daily reports.
3 Uzhavar Sandai Assistant Administrative Officer (Horticulture)
  1. Dissemination of crop production technologies thereby increasing the production of vegetables
4 Watchman (1)
  1. Guarding the Uzhavar Sandai at night
  Watchman (2)
Watchman (3)
  1. Guarding the Uzhavar Sandai during day time
  2. Regulating vehicles and guards vehicles
  3. Regulating farmers.
5 Scavenger
  1. To ensure cleanliness in Uzhavar Sandai
  2. Cleaning of toilets
6 Sandai Paniyalargal
  1. To assist in checking of ID cards and during registration
  2. To write the fixed prices on display boards
  3. To carry balances to the shops and back from the shops

The Uzhavar Sandais are maintained by the Market Committees of the Department of Agricultural Marketing and Agribusiness. The concerned Market Committee Secretary will be the coordinator for the Uzhavar Sandai as additional charge to his duties. For the Uzhavar Sandai that is not established at the committee head quarters the Assistant Director of Agriculture/ Assistant Director of Horticulture in the jurisdiction will hold the additional charge of Coordinator of Uzhavar Sandai. The Coordinators of Uzhavar Sandai must look after the daily functioning of Uzhavar Sandai, price fixation etc .In addition to the Agricultural officers and Assistant Agricultural Officers in the post harvest technology centers of the Department of Agricultural Marketing and Agribusiness, Agricultural officers and Assistant Agricultural Officers of the Department of Agriculture and Horticulture in the districts are also utilised.

Facilities to be provided at Farmer's Market  

Photo Identity Card

Based on the recommendations made by the team, identity cards are to be issued to the farmers, in which photo of the land owner and his nominee with the particulars of the village name to which the farmer belongs, survey number, extent of the land owned by him, and the vegetables grown are mentioned. The identity cards are to be renewed every six months with reference to the vegetables grown in their fields.  

Transport Facility

Transport facility for pick up and dropping down of the registered farmers to the Farmers market  are arranged by the market functionaries through tie-up with state transport department.  

Allotment of stalls

Stalls are to be allotted to the farmers by following lot method or first come first basis. The farmers are not allowed to occupy the stalls permanently. No fee is to be collected from the farmers.  

Prices Fixation

The market committee will every day communicate the moderate wholesale prices of vegetables through fax between 7.30 AM and 8.00 AM . Based on the same, the prices of vegetable are fixed in consultation with the farmers committee, which may be 20% -25%     higher than the whole sale price and lower than the local retail market prices in the area.  

Public Address System

Prices of vegetables are frequently announced through public address system to create awareness of the rates of the vegetables among the consumers as well as farmers.

Supply of weighing scales

When the farmers enter into a Farmers market their names along with the particulars such as name of the village and the quantity of vegetables brought by them are entered in a register and they are issued a token. On the basis of the token issued to them, all the farmers are provided with weighing scales without collecting any fee. The farmers will return back the scales after completing their sales.  

Other facilities:

Drinking water facilities
Toilet facilities
Canteen facilities for food and tea
Drainage facilities
Plastic boxes to collect rotten  fruits and vegetables.

Additional facilities like Computers for effective communication, new hybrid seeds, seedlings, organic farming methodology, vermicomposting demonstration and post harvest management training to farmers will also be offered to those farmers visiting Uzhavar Sandhai.  25 Uzhavar Sandhais have been supplied with computers. 

Source:
Marketing infrastructure & agricultural marketing reforms
http://agmarknet.nic.in/amrscheme/rythu_bazarmodel.htm

List of  Uzhavar Sandais in TamilNadu

Location Map of Farmers Markets inTamil Nadu

Farmers Market - Coimbatore

 

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