Per­for­mance Eval­u­a­tion of Reg­u­lated Agri­cul­tural Mar­kets in Haryana: A case study of Bhi­wani District of Haryana

Economic Challenger - - CON­TENTS - − Su­mi­tee Yadav

AB­STRACT

To judge the per­for­mance of the reg­u­lated agri­cul­tural mar­ket, eco­nomic pa­ram­e­ters (mar­ket ar­rivals, in­come and ex­pen­di­ture pat­tern) are not the sole in­di­ca­tors of healthy growth and proper per­for­mance of agri­cul­tural mar­ket­ing sys­tem. It de­pends on non−eco­nomic pa­ram­e­ters (phys­i­cal in­fras­truc­tural fa­cil­i­ties, mar­ket in­for­ma­tion, mar­ket­ing con­scious­ness and mal­prac­tices pre­vail­ing in the mar­ket etc) also. That’s why, in this pa­per ef­forts have been made to study the mar­ket­ing ef­fi­ciency of the reg­u­lated agri­cul­tural mar­ket of Bhi­wani district based on non−eco­nomic pa­ram­e­ters by in­ter­view­ing the sam­ple farm­ers, com­mis­sion agents and mar­ket com­mit­tee of­fi­cials.

Key Words: Reg­u­lated Mar­ket, Non−Eco­nomic Pa­ram­e­ters, In­fras­truc­tural Fa­cil­i­ties, Mal­prac­tices.

IN­TRO­DUC­TION

Af­ter green rev­o­lu­tion, from chronic hunger and ab­ject de­pen­dence on the im­port of food grains, In­dia has achieved a level of self− suf­fi­ciency in terms of pro­duc­tion of many crops es­pe­cially in food­grains. This in­creased mar­ketable sur­plus, needed ef­fi­cient and easy dis­posal to pro­vide re­mu­ner­a­tive price to the farm­ers oth­er­wise, in­creased pro­duc­tion would have be­come a bur­den than a ben­e­fit to the farm­ers. But ef­fi­cient mar­ket­ing of agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties was not easy as there ex­isted num­ber of de­fects which were used to ex­ploit the farm­ers. Gov­ern­ment sought a so­lu­tion to cor­rect these de­fects through Reg­u­lated Mar­kets. In In­dia, the be­gin­ning of reg­u­la­tion of agri­cul­tural mar­ket­ing can be traced back to the Bri­tish rule, but the need of reg­u­la­tion of agri­cul­tural pro­duce was more em­pha­sized by the Royal Com­mis­sion. Though sev­eral prov­inces and states en­acted leg­is­la­tion for the reg­u­la­tion of agri­cul­tural pro­duce mar­kets, not much head­way was made till in­de­pen­dence. But af­ter the in­de­pen­dence, the reg­u­la­tion pro­gramme got mo­men­tum, be­cause of con­certed ef­forts made by cen­tre and state gov­ern­ments. As a re­sult the num­ber of reg­u­lated mar­kets in­creased from 286(1950−51) to 7157(March 2010).

Keep­ing in view the sig­nif­i­cance of reg­u­lated agri­cul­tural mar­kets, these mar­kets were stud­ied by var­i­ous re­searchers and au­thors from time to time on the ba­sis of dif­fer­ent pa­ram­e­ters. Some stud­ies ex­am­ined mar­ket func­tion­ing and in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties in reg­u­lated mar­kets (Datta (1998), Jain (1998), Vaikhunthe (2000), Rajesh and Sun­der­son (2002), Jairath (2004)). Some eval­u­ated the reg­u­lated mar­kets per­for­mance in terms of mar­ket ar­rivals, in­come and ex­pen­di­ture on de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties (Singh et.al. (1992), Pend­nekar (2003), Khunt et. al. (2008) and Bhunu­mate (2011)). Some re­searchers ex­am­ined the role of com­mis­sion agents, prob­lems faced by farm­ers and in­ten­sity of farmer’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­ity (Kho­diar et. al. (2002), Govin­dra­jan et. al. (2006)). In the present re­search work, an at­tempt has also been made to ex­am­ine the per­for­mance of reg­u­lated agri­cul­tural mar­ket of Bhi­wani district on the

ba­sis of non−eco­nomic vari­ables. The main ob­jec­tives of the study are fol­low­ing

(i) To ex­am­ine the avail­abil­ity of in­fras­truc­tural fa­cil­i­ties within the mar­ket−yard.

(ii) To find out the role of RMC in the dis­sem­i­na­tion of mar­ket in­for­ma­tion to farm­ers.

(iii) To iden­tify the mal­prac­tices of com­mis­sion agents / Arthias and traders.

RE­SEARCH METHOD­OL­OGY

The study was con­ducted for the prin­ci­pal mar­ket yard of Bhi­wani district (Haryana). The study ba­si­cally based on the pri­mary data which were col­lected from farm­ers, com­mis­sion agents/arthias and mar­ket com­mit­tee of­fi­cials by sur­vey method. For this pur­pose, a sam­ple of 90 farm­ers, con­sist­ing of three sub−sam­ples from dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of farm­ers, 20 com­mis­sion agents and 15 mar­ket com­mit­tee of­fi­cials were in­ter­viewed for col­lect­ing re­quired in­for­ma­tion to ful­fil the ob­jec­tives of the study. A set of three well−structured ques­tion­naires for farm­ers, com­mis­sion agents and mar­ket com­mit­tee of­fi­cials were used re­spec­tively. All the ques­tion­naires were filled by di­rect in­ter­views and per­sonal vis­its to farm­ers, com­mis­sion

agents and mar­ket com­mit­tee of­fi­cials dur­ing the month of April 2011. Af­ter col­lect­ing nec­es­sary pri­mary data it was tab­u­lated, an­a­lyzed and in­ter­preted with the help of some nec­es­sary and sim­ple sta­tis­ti­cal tools such as per­cent­ages and av­er­ages.

RE­SULTS AND DIS­CUS­SION

Avail­abil­ity of Phys­i­cal In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­i­ties for Farm­ers

Ad­e­quate mar­ket­ing in­fra­struc­ture is im­por­tant not only for the per­for­mance of var­i­ous mar­ket­ing func­tions and ex­pan­sion of the size of the mar­ket but also for trans­fer of ap­pro­pri­ate price sig­nals lead­ing to im­proved mar­ket­ing ef­fi­ciency. To im­prove the mar­ket ef­fi­ciency all the nec­es­sary ba­sic in­fras­truc­tural fa­cil­i­ties are pro­vided by HSAMB in each reg­u­lated mar­ket of Haryana.

Ta­ble 1 clearly shows that in the selected reg­u­lated mar­ket there was no Agri­cul­tural Busi­ness In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre (ABIC). Farm­ers of dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories re­ported that they even did not know about such type of fa­cil­ity. But dur­ing the field sur­vey, when mar­ket of­fi­cials were asked about this fa­cil­ity, they re­ported that it was avail­able in the mandi yard. Fur­ther about the check−posts and gates fa­cil­i­ties, the re­sults re­veal that only 44.44 per­cent farm­ers re­ported for the fa­cil­i­ties of check−posts and gates in mandi yard. In case of cov­ered plat­forms fa­cil­ity, it is ev­i­dent from the ta­ble that these fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able to only 18.89 per­cent of sam­ple farm­ers. Dur­ing field sur­vey, small farm­ers re­ported that the fa­cil­i­ties of cov­ered plat­forms was avail­able only to large size farm­ers be­cause they had big quan­tity of pro­duce and good con­tacts with com­mis­sion agents and mar­ket− of­fi­cials. Fur­ther­more it was found that some es­sen­tial fa­cil­i­ties i.e. weight equip­ment, ser­vice and in­ter­nal roads, shops and booths, light ar­range­ment and drink­ing wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties were in good con­di­tions.

Mar­ket In­for­ma­tion

Proper mar­ket in­for­ma­tion makes farm­ers able to feel the pulse of the mar­ket at an ap­pro­pri­ate time. Through field sur­vey, an at­tempt has been made to find out what were the ma­jor sources of mar­ket In­for­ma­tion for the farm­ers in the reg­u­lated mar­ket.

Ta­ble 2 shows that 85.55 per­cent of sam­ple farm­ers get mar­ket in­for­ma­tion through their per­sonal vis­its to mar­ket. The fore­most tra­di­tional chan­nel of mar­ket in­for­ma­tion is through per­sonal con­tacts which is clear from the ta­ble that 94.44 per­cent farm­ers get mar­ket in­for­ma­tion through other farm­ers. In case of Arthias as source of In­for­ma­tion, 60 per­cent farm­ers re­port that they get in­for­ma­tion from

them. But in case of mar­ket com­mit­tee only 3.33 per­cent farm­ers ac­cept it as the source of mar­ket in­for­ma­tion. And all these re­ported farm­ers were large sized farm­ers. Ac­cord­ing to them, they have some known per­sons in mar­ket com­mit­tee that’s why they get mar­ket in­for­ma­tion from them. In case of me­dia sources i.e. Ra­dio, News­pa­per and T.V. the ta­ble shows that 76.67 per­cent farm­ers get mar­ket in­for­ma­tion through these sources. To pro­vide proper mar­ket in­for­ma­tion to farm­ers is one of the ma­jor re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of mar­ket com­mit­tee of­fi­cials. But dur­ing sur­vey it is found that only a few large size farm­ers ac­cept that mar­ket com­mit­tee of­fi­cial pro­vid­eds them mar­ket in­for­ma­tion.

Mal­prac­tices of Arthias/Traders and Mar­ket Com­mit­tee Staff

A num­ber of mal­prac­tices pre­vail in In­dian agri­cul­tural mar­ket­ing sys­tem. Here through in­ter­view­ing sam­ple farm­ers an at­tempt has been made to find out what kind of mal­prac­tices are pre­vail­ing in the reg­u­lated mar­ket.

One of the ma­jor con­tri­bu­tions of reg­u­lated mar­kets has been the reg­u­la­tion of mar­ket charges (com­mis­sion, un­load­ing, clean­ing and weigh­ment) par­tic­u­larly those levied on the farm­ers. Dur­ing field sur­vey, it was found that many farm­ers (57.78%) com­plained not only about the mul­ti­plic­ity of charges but also that these charges were not clearly de­fined and spec­i­fied. Fur­ther anal­y­sis of the ta­ble 3 re­veals the poor sit­u­a­tion of grad­ing fa­cil­ity and preva­lence of mal­prac­tices dur­ing grad­ing and clean­ing. Dur­ing sur­vey, it has been ob­served that these fa­cil­i­ties are not ad­e­quate in the selected reg­u­lated mar­ket. There is only clean­ing of pro­duce.

This is done partly due to lack of grad­ing equip­ment and lack of trained labours to carry out the grad­ing of the pro­duce. A large ma­jor­ity (68.89 per­cent) of farm­ers ex­pressed their dis­sat­is­fac­tion about the grad­ing and clean­ing of their pro­duce. About mal­prac­tices dur­ing weigh­ing, ta­ble 3 shows that 31.11 per­cent of sam­ple farm­ers com­plained about faulty weight, over weigh­ing, ar­bi­trary de­duc­tions in weigh­ment and ab­sence of uni­form weigh­ment charges. Pay­ing dif­fer­ent prices for the same grade of pro­duce in the mar­ket is found to be a cause of dis­sat­is­fac­tion among farm­ers, 85.56 per­cent farm­ers ac­cepted it. Dur­ing sur­vey when asked farm­ers about unau­tho­rized de­duc­tions, 75.56 per­cent farm­ers ac­cepted de­duc­tion in

ma­te­rial form and 26.67 per­cent farm­ers ac­cepted de­duc­tion in money form for reli­gious and char­i­ta­ble pur­poses. Dur­ing field sur­vey, an­other form of mal­prac­tice that comes out is the huge dif­fer­ence be­tween the amount of ac­tual sale and its ac­tual en­try in of­fi­cial record by mar­ket com­mit­tee staff. Ta­ble’s re­sult re­veals that 64.44 per­cent sam­ple farm­ers ad­mit­ted this fact.

CON­CLU­SION AND REC­OM­MEN­DA­TION

In short we can say that on the ba­sis of non−eco­nomic vari­ables, selected reg­u­lated mar­ket per­for­mance was not found to be very good. Al­though reg­u­la­tion of the mar­kets has im­proved their func­tion­ing, but the ex­ist­ing ma­chin­ery has failed to check mal­prac­tices in the mar­ket­ing sys­tem. Need­less to say that in spite of all the reg­u­la­tions, the selected reg­u­lated mar­ket is still suf­fer­ing from bot­tle­necks such as lack of or­gan­i­sa­tion among farm­ers and the con­se­quent low bar­gain­ing power, distress sale, mal­prac­tices in the mar­ket, in­ad­e­quate in­fras­truc­tural fa­cil­i­ties and fi­nally the lack of mar­ket intelligence and in­for­ma­tion sys­tem. To im­prove the ef­fec­tive­ness of the reg­u­la­tory frame­work and to en­able the RMC to play a more ef­fec­tive role, the gov­ern­ment has to bring about the de­sired change in the ex­ist­ing sys­tem of agri­cul­tural mar­ket­ing

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