Special Correspondent

Minister reviews activities of Marketing Department

Licences to be issued liberallyGovernment to sign MoU with Multi-Commodity ExchangesState-of-art facilities to be provided at market yards

HYDERABAD: For the first time, private market yards for agricultural commodities will be encouraged by the Government to work parallel with the 305 markets run by committees.

Licences would be issued liberally for setting up private market yards to create a healthy competition between the two, Minister for Marketing Botcha Satyanarayana said here on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference after reviewing the activities of the Marketing Department, the Minister announced the Government's decision to develop three kinds of markets in the State outside the purview of those under the market committees to facilitate disposal of the produce by farmers at remunerative prices without a hitch.

Terminal markets

`Terminal markets' will be set up with an assistance of Rs. 100 crores from National Dairy Development Board to assist farmers from sowing to marketing. They would guide the farmer on the type of crop, the extent of sowing and the technology to be used.

Equipped with godowns and buyback arrangement, they would dispose of the produce for a remunerative price as a responsibility. The first terminal market will come up in Hyderabad.

The Minister said `spot markets' would be established at Guntur, Nalgonda and Kurnool to clear damaged crops and thus avoid distress sale by farmers.

The Government would shortly sign an MoU with Multi-Commodity Exchanges. If the sale price was not acceptable to the farmer, the produce could be kept in godowns.

Modernisation

Mr. Satyanarayana said commodity-specific `special markets' would also be opened shortly at different places in the State. For example, there would be mango market at Vijayawada and another at Vizianagaram for banana.

Thirty-seven out of the 305 markets had been identified for being modernised at a cost of Rs. 155 crores.

Amenities for those associated with these markets would be taken up. State-of-art facilities like digital display boards indicating prices of commodities and computer-linked weighing machines would be installed.