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City to have Rs 60-cr market

THE GOVERNMENT of India has identified Bhopal along with seven other destinations across the country for setting up market complexes at a cost of Rs 550 crore to have an integration of domestic produce with retail chains. The proposed terminal is likely to be established at 40-acre land in Bhopal with an investment of Rs 60 crore.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 14:30 IST

THE GOVERNMENT of India has identified Bhopal along with seven other destinations across the country for setting up market complexes at a cost of Rs 550 crore to have an integration of domestic produce with retail chains. The proposed terminal is likely to be established at 40-acre land in Bhopal with an investment of Rs 60 crore.

Other places where these terminal markets will be set up are Mumbai, Nasik, Nagpur, Chandigarh, Rai (Haryana), Patna and Kolkata.

“As far as Bhopal is concerned, the proposed terminal would initially deal in fresh vegetables and fruits,” said a senior officer.

Each world-class complex, meant to be wholesale marketing centres with backward and forwards linkages, would cost between Rs 60 crore and Rs 120 crore.

The markets would be set up in alliance with private players with a 51 per cent holding of the Government and 49 per cent stake of private enterprises.

Details of the initiative would be worked out on February 20 during a meeting of states’ agriculture ministers and the Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar.

Following that, the proposal would be sent to the Union Cabinet. State Agriculture Minister Gopal Bhargava along with senior officers would participate in the proposed meeting at New Delhi.

For setting up these terminal market complexes the respective state governments will amend the Agriculture Produce Marketing Act to pave way for terminal markets.

To begin with, the terminal markets will be set up for fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, meat and poultry. Madhya Pradesh has already amended some existing Acts for opening up the proposed market.

On the directive of the Union Agriculture Ministry, Jaipur-based National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM) has invited expressions of interest (EOIs) from companies and cooperatives for construction, operation and management of the proposed eight complexes.

The ministry would serve as a facilitator, and if need be, a partial investor for each project, said informed sources. The proposal has already elicited interests from some big Indian corporates and foreign players, who would stay on course depending on their interactions with the Centre and state governments on the matter, they added.

These markets are envisaged as alternate competitive markets which would function independently of the existing regulated markets.

“Creation of such marketing infrastructure across the country, coupled with ongoing policy and legal reforms, could transform agriculture from production-driven sector to market-driven sector,” said a senior officer of Agriculture department.

Each marketing complex would be equipped with facilities for electronic auction, grading of farm produce, washing and packing lines, packaging, processing, exports and banking. It would also have interface with wholesalers, distribution centre-supported retail stores.

It will reform the Mandis not only in terms of transparent price discovery and better remuneration for the producers but will result in reduced wastage during transit and handling of perishables.

The initiative will also bring prosperity to the farm and the farmer as it will strengthen the backward linkages and value addition at every stage of the food chain will increase.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 14:30 IST