As a safety measure and to comply to social distancing as well as in a bid to avoid gathering of farmers in mandis and aid them sell produce at their doorstep in lockdown period, Madhya Pradesh government introduced a system of trade through “sauda patrak”.
This system is a legal document of trade commitment between a trader and farmer outside the mandi premises. However, farmers have claimed that through ‘sauda patrak’, trade commitment in the lockdown period, aimed at facilitating farmers to sell their produce to traders at doorsteps without visiting mandis, is refraining many from the benefit of fair market price, while trade enquires are also less.
Farmers claimed only a handful of them are being approached by traders at farm level, while prices offered are lower than the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the government. For instance- MSP for wheat this season is Rs 1,925 per quintal. Though, according to the officials, the system was already in place, use was limited and this year amid the Covid-19 outbreak, trade was allowed outside the mandi premises via sauda patrak.
According to mandi board, around 1 lakh quintal per day of wheat is being bought by traders in Indore division through sauda patrak besides around 300 temporary trade centrers have also been opened in the division where farmers can sell produce to traders. Farmers claim that traders are offering Rs 1,600-Rs 1,700 per quintal for lokwan wheat. Traders do not have money to offer good prices and farmers are not able to move out to sell produce. With rains approaching, farmers are in a big trap.
Expressing their concern, farmers stated that the registration window should be extended so that more farmers can get themselves registered. Traders on the other hand said dis-colourisation and inferior quality produce is fetching poor prices.
According to the Madhya Pradesh Anaj Dalhan Tilhan Vyapar Sangh president, Traders are offering prices as per the quality of the produce. For good quality like chandausi and lokwan, market rates are offered.