FUNCTIONAL MANUAL ON RYTHU BAZARS
Andhra Pradesh is the second largest producer of fruits, vegetables and flowers in the Country.The predominantly grown fruit crops are mango, banana, cashewnut, sapota, guava and pomegranate. Brinjal, lady’s finger, onions, tomatoes, beans and gourds are the major vegetables produced in the State.
Regulated Market Yards for fruits and vegetables are functioning only at few centers in the State. The Marketing system for fruits and vegetables is in the hands of middlemen. Middlemen exist at various levels between the farmer and the consumer and exploit through malpractices in weighments, handling and payments.
The farmer's share in the consumer's rupee is estimated to be just 40 paise. In addition the estimated losses in handling of vegetables in the traditional channel of marketing is about 30 to 35%.
Large number of small farmers are unable to effectively bargain for a better price in the wholesale markets. Inefficiencies in wholesale markets result in a long chain of intermediaries, multiple handling, loss in quality and increase the gap between producer and consumer prices. Intermediaries and system inefficiencies consume a disproportionate share of consumer prices. Large number of small retailers, each handling small quantities, create high overheads leading to high margins on produce. Rythu Bazars will operate outside the purview of Agrl. Market Committees to be managed by Estate Officers and under the control of Joint Collectors.
It was therefore felt necessary to evolve an alternate marketing strategy where both growers and consumers are benefited through Rythu Bazaars. Rythu Bazaars are thus planned for direct interface between the farmers and the consumers eliminating middlemen. Rythu Bazars, if function effectively, can act as price stabilisation centres.
The objectives are
To ensure remunerative prices to the farmers and provide fresh vegetables to consumers at reasonable rates fixed everyday.
Facilitate prompt realization of sale proceeds to farmers without any deductions.
Curb malpractices in weighments – provide vegetables with correct weighments to consumers.
Provide direct interface between farmers and consumers – eliminating intermediaries in trade.
LOCATION OF RYTHU BAZARS:
Rythu Bazars are located on Government lands identified by the District Collectors. The location shall have to be convenient both for the farmers and consumers. The criteria for opening of new Rythu Bazars are the availability of atleast one acre of land in strategic locations, and identification of 250 vegetable growing farmers including 10 groups.
Required infrastructure is provided in all Rythu Bazars with funds of Agricultural Market Committees. The temporary structures in Rythu Bazars are replaced by semi permanent structures to provide adequate protection against sun/rain to the producers and the users alike.
The Rythu Bazars shall have to ensure:
Adequate number of Sheds for farmers to sell their produce.
Adequate arrangements for supply of drinking water.
Toilet facilities with proper sanitation
Proper arrangements for parking of vehicles.
Arrangements for removal of garbage and cleaning the Market by local body.
Facilities for storage of unsold produce like Zero Energy Cool chambers.
Weighing scales should be provided to all the farmers with proper arrangements for issue and collection.
IDENTIFICATION OF FARMERS/VILLAGES.
Proper Identification of a cluster of villages and genuine farmers and their marketing linkage to Rythu Bazars is key to the successful functioning of a Rythu Bazar.
It is desirable to identify the farmers from a cluster of 10-15
predominantly vegetable growing villages to enable provision of horticulture services, inputs and transportation arrangements to the Rythu Bazars effectively.
Horticulture Department may identify such clusters
immediately for all the Rythu Bazars.
Identification of farmers shall be done jointly by a team consisting of
(1) M.R.O. (Tahsildar)
(3)Agricultural Officer, in the villages.
In the absence of Horticultural Officer/Consultant services of Assistant Director, Agriculture may be utilised.
The team should finalise the schedule of visits to the villages and publicise it adequately among the vegetable growing farmers.
As per the schedule the team should visit the villages and convene a meeting of vegetable growing farmers.
In the meeting they should explain about the advantages of the Rythu Bazars to the farmers through provision of
b)Seed supply at subsidized rates
e)Elimination of middlemen to motivate them to
reap the benefits.
After the meeting, the team should visit fields of the willing farmers and issue temporary identity cards on the spot.
Temporary identity cards issued should be replaced by laminated photo identity cards within a week.
Tenants may also be given identity cards on field verification.
Farmers may be formed into groups as per their choice. It may be explained to them that each group can send one or more members on rotation for sale of vegetables in Rythu Bazars. They may also be extended the benefits given to the Self Help Groups by the government.
ISSUE OF PHOTO IDENTITY CARDS:
Identity cards should contain the following details:
a) Name of the farmer
c) Extent of land
d) Vegetables grown
e) Photograph of farmer/ farmer with his family members/and/ or farm servant.
f) In case of farmers groups, photograph of the group members.
Photograph must be attested by Horticultural Consultant.
Identity Card must be laminated
Register containing the details of the Identity Cards issued shall
be maintained with horticultural consultant and estate officer.
Validity of Identity cards shall be six months from the date of issue.
Renewal of the Identity cards shall be completed atleast 15 days
ALLOTMENT OF SHOPS TO FARMERS BY ESTATE OFFICER
Only the farmers/groups with valid photo identity cards should be allowed to sell in Rythu Bazar.
The Daily allotment of shops shall be on First Come First Serve basis on rotation.
No one shall be allowed to occupy the same shop continuously.
Farmers shall not be allowed to reserve the shop by keeping vegetables in the night.
PREVENTING THE ENTRY OF MIDDLEMEN
Adequate participation of farmers is the best way to prevent the entry of middlemen.
The entry of middlemen (retailers / wholesalers) defeats the purpose of setting of Rythu Bazars.
No seller shall be allowed to enter into Rythu Bazar without valid photo identity card.
If any farmer comes to Rythu Bazar without any identity card, he should be directed to Horticulture Consultant for obtaining the identity card.
The bogus identity cards shall be cancelled immediately.
Farmers should be allowed to sell the vegetables grown by them only.
Proper selection of Self-Help Groups.
Self-help Groups to sell only those vegetables which are not grown in the District and other essential commodities supplied by the Government Agencies.
Taking deterrent action against the persons responsible for issuing cards to ineligible persons.
Estate Officer will be held responsible for allowing persons without proper identity cards.
Frequent surprise inspections by Joint Collector and others and leaving their remarks in the inspection register without fail.
Joint Collectors have to ensure adequate transport arrangement in consultation with APSRTC after ascertaining specific requirement from the estate officers and farmers.
The premises should be kept neat and clean.
Removal of garbage, cleaning the market , maintenance of toilets may be entrusted to the local body, private agency, or Self-help Group.
Required funds for the above may be met from the income generated through auction of parking space, canteen,etc.
Farmers and Self Help Groups should clean the space allotted to them and put the garbage at the places specified.
Funds allotted to Rythu Bazars wherever necessary may be utilised for proper sanitation in the market.
The price fixation in Rythu Bazars shall be through a committee of farmers and the Estate Officer.
Adequate care should be taken to fix the prices realistically. If the prices in Rythu Bazars are higher than the local market rate, there is no incentive to consumers. And if the prices fixed are lower than the wholesale market rates there is no incentives to farmers.
The prices generally in Rythu Bazars shall have to be 25% above the wholesale rates and 25% less than the local retail price.
Marketing Department shall provide the wholesale prices to Estate Officer for realistic price fixation.
Estate Officer should also make his efforts to obtain the wholesale and retail prices.
Whenever Marketing Department is not able to provide wholesale prices by 6.00 A.M in the morning, previous day's wholesale price may be used.
For the different varieties (clearly distinguishable) of the same vegetable, different sale price may be fixed.
The Estate Officers shall ensure that prices are displayed prominently at strategic locations.
The Estate Officers shall ensure strict enforcement of prices fixed.
All disputes relating to sale of vegetables shall be resolved by the Estate Officers.
LEASE OF STRUCTURES / PARKING SPACE :
Rythu Bazars should generate sufficient income for maintenance through auction of parking space, canteen etc.
Joint Collector is the competent authority for finalisation of auction.
The money realised by way of auction shall be credited to Rythu Bazar funds and the funds can be used for the purpose of
2. Drinking water facilities.
3. Purchase and repairs of weighing scales, and maintenance of Rythu
The Estate officers shall maintain proper accounts / cash books etc.
Duties of the Estate Officers :
The Estate Officers are responsible for
Upkeep and maintenance of Rythu Bazars.
Daily allotment of space on First Come First Serve (FCFS) basis.
Provision of weighing scales to farmers daily and collecting them back in the evening.
Formation of price fixation committees.
Convening of the price fixation committee meetings everyday morning for realistic price fixation.
Ensure sales at the prices fixed.
Conducting a meeting of all farmers once in a week to assess the functioning and to take course corrections and send the minutes to Joint Collector and Director of Marketing.
Prominent display of prices at strategic points.
Use of public address system for announcement of prices.
Prevention of entry of middlemen.
Cleanliness / sanitation.
Proper supply of power and water.
Proper transport facilities to farmers.
Proper recording of daily arrivals and sales.
Prompt furnishing of returns and reports to the Joint Collectors / Director of Marketing.
Encourage sale of vegetables not grown locally by the Self-Help Groups.
Ensure that the farmers sell vegetables mentioned in the identity card.
Co-ordinate with Horticulture officers / consultants in timely distribution of seed material / inputs to promote Horticulture production.
Prevent entry of antisocial elements especially in the nights.
Proper maintenance of Accounts and inspection Register.
Settle disputes arising on account of quality, price etc between sellers and purchasers.
Lease of space for parking / canteen etc and realisation of lease amounts.
Organise proper watch and ward.
Prompt action on adverse news items relating to Rythu Bazars.
Problems of transportation, middlemen, requirement of additional infrastructure and other problems may be taken to the notice of Joint Collectors as and when necessary.
Adequate participation of farmers is sine-qua-non for the successful functioning of Rythu Bazars and this is the primary responsibility of Horticultural Consultant. Therefore, Horticulture Consultant should motivate, identify and ensure regular attendance of vegetable growers to reap the benefits of Rythu Bazars.
Visiting Rythu Bazars regularly and assess the daily requirement of vegetables.
Based on the requirements, action plan should be prepared for production and regular supply of vegetables by identifying required number of farmers.
Regular visits to identified villages and providing pre/post harvest consultancy to the identified farmers.
Timely supply of quality seeds at subsidised prices to the farmers.
To guide the farmers in production of off-season vegetables.
To organise training to vegetable growers.
To maintain farmer-wise, village-wise, Mandal-wise area under different vegetables and varieities and quantities produced and sold in Rythu Bazars.
Assist the Estate Officer in managing Rythu Bazar.
To interact and coordinate with personnel of Agriculture, Horticulture
and Marketing departments.
To maintain tour diary and submit monthly diaries to Estate Officer,
Assistant Director of Horticulture and Joint Collector.
Assistant Director of Horticulture/Deputy Director of Horticulture shall send a fortnightly report after inspection(s) in the prescribed proforma to commissioner Horticulture, Director of Marketing and Joint Collector.
ROLE OF AGRICULTURE OFFICERS
The Agriculture Officers shall co-ordinate with Horticulture Consultants in the distribution of Seed/Implementation of Horticulture production plan.
Motivate farmers in disposal of produce in Rythu Bazars.
Coordinate with Horticulture Consultant in proper identification of Villages/Farmers for Rythu Bazars.
Co-ordinate with Horticulture Consultant/Estate Officer in elimination of Middlemen in Rythu Bazars.
Coordinate Estate Officers in managing Rythu Bazars.
Vegetables grown within the district to be sold only by the farmers.
Rythu Bazars have to ensure availability of all vegetables whether grown locally or not.
The import and sale of vegetables not grown locally or not grown in that season may be organised through self help groups.
Self help groups shall not be allowed to sell the vegetables grown within the district.
District administration should assist the self help groups in procuring vegetables through proper tie ups.
The daily return of transactions at all Rythu Bazar are made available through computer net work to aid decision making in the transport of vegetables from the low price areas.
All essential commodities except rice may be sold through self help groups.
Govt. agencies (Civil Supplies Corporation, OILFED, MARKFED) shall sell their commodities through Self Help Groups.
Care should be taken to ensure that the Self Help Group functions as a group and not as an individual in the conduct of transactions.
They shall sell only those Vegetables not grown in the District.
Self Help Groups should be encouraged to sell the vegetables not grown locally and other essential commodities in the Rythu Bazars.
Joint Collector should select Self Help Groups in consultation with PD, DRDA and Municipal Commissioner based on group activity, savings amount in the bank and their willingness to work for lower profit margins.
Selected groups should function with active participation of all the members of the group and not by one or two individuals.
MAINTENANCE OF REGISTERS/RECORDS.
The Estate Officers shall ensure proper maintenance of Registers/Records Reports and inspection register.
Furnish daily reports of transactions as per format appended before 11.00 A.M.
Furnish weekly returns of transactions as per proforma on every Friday.
Report fortnightly on 1st and 16th of every month particular of as per proforma as check memo on Rythu Bazar.
Maintain the following Registers as per the format appended
1) Register of inspections
2) Register of Farmers
3) Register of Dead stock
4) Register of Self-help Groups.
5) Accounts Register.
CONSTRUCTION OF PERMANENT RYTHU BAZARS:
Keeping in view the present and future requirements and the response from the farmers and consumers, permanent Rythu Bazars are planned at all the centres.
An area of 1.00 acre is essential for construction of Rythu Bazars.
Construction of permanent Rythu Bazars is entrusted to APIIC for speedier execution.
The permanent Rythu Bazars shall be occupied as and when execution is completed.
COMMUNICATION FACILITIES :
Telephone, Fax and Computers should be installed in all Rythu Bazars.
The Estate Officers shall use the above for prompt submission of returns and receipt of information for better management.
Networking of all Rythu Bazars enable Estate Officers in realistic price fixation and helps the farmers, Self Help Groups in taking advantage of the prevailing prices in different markets.
Commissioner, Horticulture and Director of Marketing shall organise training programs at periodic intervals for Estate Officers and Horticulture Consultants.
ROLE OF JOINT COLLECTORS:
Joint Collectors are responsible for the effective functioning of Rythu Bazars in the district.
The Joint Collectors shall hold periodical meetings with farmers/ Consumers and take corrective measures.
Appointment of Estate Officers and Horticulture Consultants.
Holding weekly meetings with Estate Officers.
Inspection of atleast one Rythu Bazar every week.
Coordinate with APSRTC officials for adequate transport arrangements.
Ensure proper co-ordination of Agriculture, Horticulture, Revenue, Marketing, Transport and Local Bodies for the smooth functioning of the Rythu Bazar.