“By having the latest prices for the goods in hand, farmers cannot be deceived due to ignorance of its value in markets”

Here is some good news for farmers in Madurai district: a latest facility at the State-run regulated markets in Madurai, Tirumangalam, and Usilampatti is a ticker board that works on a SIM card and displays both the spot rate and the futures prices of different commodities. Farmers can now have access to prices at their doorstep.

Till some time ago, the future rates were confined to precious items such as gold and silver, but now, the importance had been extended to the agricultural produce as well, said J. Thavasa Muthu, secretary, Madurai Market Committee. “By having the latest prices for the goods in hand, farmers cannot be deceived due to ignorance of its value in markets. They are no more in the dark about the current market prices,” he said.

Explaining the salient features of the new facility to a group of farmers at the Tirumangalam regulated market on Monday, Mr. Thavasu Muthu said that from now on they could get a better price and keep track of the fluctuations. Depending on the need, they could sell their produce and need not rush to the markets. Similarly, the tactics of middlemen in influencing the farmers to sell their produce may become a thing of the past as the spot rates for the goods would be made known.

Mr. Muthu, who attended a two-day training programme organised by the NCDEX (National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited) in Mumbai recently, said that through the exchange agency that handled the futures market, the rates were made available to farmers at the regulated markets. “Benefits of satellite technology are being passing on to farmers, besides educating them on market nuances,” he told The Hindu.

A farmer from Sathangudi near Tirumangalam expressed satisfaction over the new facility and hoped that they would no more be at the mercy of greedy merchants. The regulated market which functions on all working days would have officers to assist farmers seeking information.