Chandigarh: In a major move to bring reforms in the farming sector, the Haryana government on Tuesday allowed direct purchase of horticulture produce from farmers.
    
"We are allowing direct purchase of horticulture crops from farmers for the first time in the state in a structured way so as to provide better returns to farmers for their crops," Haryana Agricultural Marketing Board Chief Administrator T V S N Prasad told here.
    
Giving detail on direct purchase, Prasad said the state government would identify commodity hubs across the state and then set up collection centres within one km of these hubs to allow farmers to bring their produce to sell their crops in these collection centres.
    
Apart from this, the state government has also allowed setting up of primary processing facilities such as sorting, grading, packaging and storage of perishable commodities by private parties, including corporates in these collection centres and farmers can use these services on the payment of user charges, he added.
    
These moves are part of Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2012 which was passed by the Haryana assembly here on Tuesday.
    
The state government has further decided to allow market extension activities like washing, cleaning on Public Private Partnership mode.
    
The state has also allowed to provide more market access to farmers by facilitating setting up of electronic spot exchanges to fetch them good rates for their produce.
    
Private parties will be given licences to operate in collection centres by way of taking licences from the board. "More than one company will be given permission to operate in these centres so as to prevent any exploitation of farmers by paying less for their crops," Prasad said.
    
However, he asserted that these collection centres would be owned by the state government itself.
    
"The direct purchase will also facilitate big companies like Walmart, Reliance to operate in the horticulture sector of the state," he said.

(Agencies)

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