The reason the Maharashtra government is able to sell vegetables cheaper in the city through various cooperative societies is because it has eliminated the role of the commission agents, wholesalers as well as the retailers.
This is how the vegetables end up in a Mumbai household.
A farmer usually sells his produce to a yard trader in his local market. The trader, who is also the packing and transporting agent, then takes the vegetables to the wholesale Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) complex in Navi Mumbai.
He then strikes a deal with a commission agent-cumwholesale trader who stocks the produce in his gala.
The retailers then purchase from these wholesalers, who usually take a fixed percentage on the sale as commission from the yard trader.
The retailer then spends on transporting the produce to Mumbai to his shop, where he charges his customer any amount that he wishes.
The price is usually based on the demand and supply position.
He also takes into account the losses he suffers in terms of wastage and the extras that he has to give to the consumers every time he weighs the vegetable for sale.
The price of the produce rises at every stage with the involvement of various intermediaries.
With the government doing away with this entire process, it can afford to sell vegetables at a subsidised rates.
"Under the scheme, the APMC is purchasing the produce directly from the farmers. The sale price has been fixed taking into account the wastage and the transportation cost," explained agriculture commissioner Umakant Dangat.