THE LAW IS ANTI FARMER
The emergence of middlemen in the Indian agricultural marketing sector can be traced to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Corporation Acts passed by State Legislatures all over India. Agriculture is a state subject, hence drafting legislation on marketing is the prerogative of the State. With the objective of protecting the interests of the farmer, the APMC Acts passed by States in India share the common features of dividing the territory of the State into specially designated 'market areas' with each area having an Agricultural Marketing Committee appointed by the Government. Such a committee may set up one or more government-run markets in which trading of designated agricultural produce may take place.Now, how has the system of marketing of agricultural produce taken place in India in the past? Outlining the basics, contrary to western market practices, the Indian farmer is prohibited by law from selling is produce directly to an urban retailer. He can sell to the end-consumers but there is a restriction- he cannot sell more than 400 kilogrammes. If he has a produce above this figure, then he has to proceed to the Agricultural Markets run by the Government. Licensed brokers, commission agents and traders operate at these markets. Only such licensed operators are allowed to buy agricultural produce from the producer. Therefore if an urban retail chain would like to purchase several tonnes of tomatoes to sell throughout the city, then it will have to procure them from these 'licensed market operatives'. The law prohibits them from sourcing them from the farmer. Rule 5 of the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing Rules explicitly says that agricultural produce can only be marketed at the APMCs. The stated objective of Indian Policymakers was to prevent exploitation of the farmer. They envisioned that the farmer's produce would be sold at these designated markets at prices which were publicly displayed and monitored by the government. This way whatever price the farmer sold his produce at could be monitored and ascertained for its reasonableness by the State Agricultural Market Committee.
Unlike all other players who are currently in the market, we are not eyeing on selling urban or FMCG or small brands to Rural people.
We are providing them a platform or rather a 24x7 Marketplace where they can sell their products at the price of their choice with power to negotiate directly with the buyers.