Pune civic body sets rules for weekly farmer markets
The concept of farmer markets was introduced in the city a few years ago. Once in a week, farmers began selling vegetables and fruits to customers, bypassing middlemen and ensuring better quality products to end users
As the weekly farmer markets have increased in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has put in place rules and regulations for them to abide with ban to use footpaths, roads as it obstructs traffic.
With the help from the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), the concept of farmer markets was introduced in the city a few years ago. Once in a week, farmers began selling vegetables and fruits to customers, bypassing middlemen and ensuring better quality products to end users.
Currently, there are more than 60 farmer markets operational across the city. However, of late, in many markets instead of farmers, local vendors are putting their stalls with some occupying footpaths and creating traffic issues.
To address the issue, the civic officials had called a meeting with representatives of these markets on Wednesday. Madhav Jagtap, head, PMC anti-encroachment department, who chaired the meeting, issued guidelines for farmer markets.
Jagtap said, “It has been decided that farmer markets will be held only in open and amenity spaces and not on footpaths. The farmers’ association will have at least 200 members registered with MSAMB.”
According to Jagtap, the farmer groups should have permission from both MSAMB and PMC for holding the weekly market.
“PMC has issued guidelines for organising market after receiving feedback from various stakeholders,” he said.
Many residents have complained of traffic jams caused by weekly markets. At Katraj-Ambegaon, the weekly farmer market often leads to traffic chaos as some vendors sell vegetables on footpaths.
Ravi Limaye, a resident, said, “It is good that farmer markets are held at local areas. However, citizens park vehicles haphazardly and footpaths are occupied by vendors. The space given for farmers are often used by local vendors.”
As farmer markets have in the past received good response, many elected members such as corporators and MLAs used to regularly organise it at their wards. However, it was found that instead of farmers, many local vendors were putting their stalls at these markets. Public complaints and parking issues led PMC to meet the representatives of farmer groups to address the situation.