Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) is the marketing board established by the state governments ostensibly with a view to eliminating the exploitation of the farmers by intermediaries who could force them to sell their produce at low prices. At APMC, the food produce is brought to the market and sales are made through auction. The marketplace is set up in various places within the states dividing it geographically. Licensed traders operate within a market.
However, the advent of new farm laws and their enthusiastic acceptance by the Gujarat government has undesirable effects on the APMC structure in the state. As many as 20 APMcs are either closed or on the verge of being shut down.
With the government granting permission to the readers to deal directly with the farmers, bypassing the APMC, the revenue model of the APMC is severely affected. Many of the smaller AOMCs are witnessing a decrease in revenue to the tune of as big as 90%.
The transactions inside the APMC have decreased substantially, giving a serious blow to the income prospects of the APMC. Even the licenced traders inside the APMC, now -as permitted- prefer to deal with the farmers outside APMC to save the cess payable.
The emerging situation is causing an enormous challenge for the employees working at 224 APMC across the state. The income of seven APMC markets in the state has been completely closed. Four markets have started laying off employees. 14 markets have offered employees to accept working on reduced pay in order to sustain themselves momentarily. The livelihood of at least 3000 APMC workers is at stake.
Farmers are getting disillusioned, brokers can be active again. There is a danger of unemployment for about three thousand employees in a total of 224 APMC markets. Smaller APMCs like Songadh, Kadana, Kathalal, Ghari, Utheth, Vanthali, Talala, Dharampur, Mangrol, Gariadhar, Kheda, Vijayanagar, Santrampur, Shihor, Tilakwara have already been closed.
Bigger markers are not in a better condition either. Some have lost their earnings considerably. Some have to resort to their deposits for making salaries. The farmers worry that the end of APMC is just beginning. In absence of a system like APMC, the rich merchants would become richer and the poor farmers would be poorer.