UP’s first private farm mandi opens in Bulandshahr amid protests
A group of farmers protested briefly at the opening of the mandi, however, several farmers sold their produce at the mandi on the first day.Updated: Sep 25, 2020, 11:32 IST
Uttar Pradesh’s first private mandi (market place) for procurement of farm produce was inaugurated at Arania Khurd village of Bulandshahr on Thursday amid protests against the three farm reform bills.
A group of farmers and gram pradhans (village chiefs) from nearby villages protested against the private mandi and said it would eventually go against the farmers, while the mandi officials objected to their remarks.
Sub divisional magistrate (SDM) of Khurja Lavi Tripathi inaugurated the mandi and said it would provide an alternative platform to farmers to sell their produce. She further said that farmers were happy as no additional fees was charged at the mandi for selling their produce and the mandi would also help them by providing seeds and fertilizers at subsidized rates in future.
A Delhi-based rice export company has established the future agromart pvt ltd and has plans to establish similar mandis in Aligarh, Hapur and Bareilly in coming years to procure paddy and other produce from farmers of western UP.
The company’s director Ajay Bhalotia said that over a dozen farmers sold their produce on the opening day of the Agromart. He claimed to have procured paddy at the market rate and said that they would ensure best possible facilities and assistance to farmers in future.
Bhalotia admitted that a group of people tried to disrupt the function but the situation was controlled.
Farmer Jagdish of Shyampur village arrived at the mandi with 40 quintal basmati which he sold at Rs 1950 per quintal. “I am happy, I got a good price of my produce”, said Jagdish. Responding to ongoing protests by farmers against the farm reform bills that have enabled selling of agriculture produce directly to private firms, he said, “ Kisano ki to durdasha ho hi rahi hai” (The condition of farmers is miserable).
Bharatiya kisan union’s (BKU) state spokesperson Dharmendra Malik said that the union government was more interested in shielding the interest of corporates instead of farmers and the former were ready to use all resources to exploit the agriculture sector with the help of the government.
He said that the government’s tall claims that the farm bills were for the benefit for farmers were an eyewash and farmers had decided to fight a decisive battle.
Madhur Chauhan, president of Arania block gram pradhan sangthan, who also attended the inauguration, said that opening of private mandis would create a competitive atmosphere but the government should also protect the interest of farmers.