Rural Periodical Markets and PRAMs
Rural Periodical Markets refers to large number of rural small haats /shandies that operate at intervals of a week or two and attract both sellers and consumers from the hinterland. And assortment of daily needs including farm produce (grains, fruits & vegetables are traded) at these places. These RPMs, are owned and managed by different agencies, namely, individuals, panchayats, municipalities, including State Agricultural Marketing Boards (SAMBs) / Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMCs).
Many states have adopted farmer-consumer markets with varied success. These go by the names of Rythu Bazaar (A.P. and Telangana), Raitar Santhe (Karnataka), Apni Mandi (Haryana & Punjab), Shetkari Bazaar (Maharashtra), Uzhavar Saathaigal (Tamil Nadu) and Krishak Bazaar (Odisha). Such markets are reported across the country, and provide a platform mostly for transactions of produce like fruits, vegetables and flowers which are perishable in nature. The produce sold in these markets service the limited local demand.
How PRAM can work as the foundation stone of New market Architecture and what is their role in enhancing the profitability of Agriculture for Rural Areas?
Present Market Architecture have deprived the farmer from his/her optimal share in the consumers’ rupee. The Rural Periodical Markets (RPMs), can be upgraded into a function that enables aggregation and transport from village level to desired wholesale markets.
Primary rural agricultural markets (PRAMs) provide the two following services:
- Direct marketing between producers and consumers;
- Aggregation platforms for the small lots of farmers.
The PRAMs will work as the foundation of the new market architecture, having facilities to aggregate and organise the flow of farm produce and thereby, bring primary post-production activities at village level. These decentralized primary centres, will especially benefit the small & marginal farmers who have the most need for aggregation of produce. These PRAMs will allow farmers a choice to connect with any market in the nation, provided viable transport and storage lots are developed. PRAM will work at very first stage, as the back-end spokes that feed into the forward hub-spoke network.
Location of PRAM
The location of PRAMs should be in rural/semi-urban/per-urban/urban centres identified based on their potential to serve as a hub for a certain hinterland.
Infrastructure Availability that need to be ensured at PRAM-
- Cold/ dry storage
- Internet Connectivity
- Washing facility etc
How to Mobilise the funds for the development of these Primary Agriculture Rural Markets?
Funds can be mobilised from existing schemes like Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture and MGNREGA etc. Further sharing between centre and state can be performed.
Market development through PPP mode and creating SPVs between existing ownership of RPMs and sub-market yards and partner stakeholders can be additional solutions.