With Punjab set to enforce Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, 2017, the state's agriculture sector is likely to witness a major revamp.
Experts said that the main aim to enforce the new model law is to mobilise agriculture produce trade with an end to the monopoly of 'mandis'. It will also help promote private players through wholesale markets, direct sale and purchase of agricultural produce, single market fee, one-time registration and licensing for trade in multiple markets, they said.
Experts asserted that new model law is expected to bring necessary reforms in the farm forestry sector, along with allied activities such as livestock, poultry and bee-keeping to double farmers' income by 2022.
They have expressed hope that the new amended act will allow farmers to sell directly to the food processing industry.
"With the implementation of APMC, 2017, Punjab will join national agriculture market, which provides e-mandis across the country to ensure better price realisation and soil testing facilities," said an official.
The new reforms are expected to provide the agro-forestry sector a much-needed boost through exemption of trees grown by farmers on private land from felling, a unified trading license, relaxation of transit rules and a single point levy of market fee. "Currently, farmers face many problems in plantation, harvest and transit as tree felling is not regulated by one authority. Instead, the revenue and the forest department regulate tree felling and that too varies state wise," he added.
Meanwhile, Joint Director (Administration) of Punjab Mandi Board, Dalinderjeet Singh told The Statesman that the new model law will help the state to streamline the functioning of market committees in throughout the state. "It will also help us to generate funds from centre run schemes such as National agriculture Mission and National Horticulture Mission," he said.
Along with Punjab's beleaguered agriculture sector, 153 existing nominated Market Committees will be covered under the new model law which was passed by the Punjab assembly last month and Governor's nod is yet awaited on the same.
Chairman of Punjab Mandi Board, Lal Singh, however, said, they were looking into the provisions under the new act and will implement it after the notification. "Market Committees in rural areas are in a pathetic condition. This Act will help us generating revenues," he said.
Likewise Punjab, eleven other states such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana, have agreed to implement the reforms under APMC Act, 2017.