APMC and the Operation Green Scheme

A focus of this article is on ‘Operation Greens,’ an initiative initiated by the Government of India in the 2018-2019 Union Budget with the aim of stabilizing the supply of Tomato, Onion, and Potato -TOP crops in India. These crops are traded via APMC.

As part of Operation Flood or White Revolution, the Finance Minister of India announced Operation Green Scheme. Various competitive exams include a general awareness section, and Operation Greens has recently been in the news. 

Background of Operation Greens

In the Union Budget 2018-2019, the Finance Minister announced a new scheme, operation Greens, with an outlay of 500 crores. Operation Green is currently housed within the Ministry of Food Processing Industries. Defining and implementing price stabilisation measures falls under the responsibility of NAFED.

According to Operation Greens, the scheme aims to promote FPO – Farmer Producer Organizations, processing facilities, agri-logistics, and professional management of agricultural production.

What is Operation Greens?

Farmers’ produce prices are fixed by Operation Greens. This program ensures farmers receive the right price for the resources they create. Connecting farmers with consumers aims to organize the marketing of TOP vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, and potatoes.

As part of Operation Greens, government plans to provide financial assistance to Farmer Producer Organizations, State Agriculture and other Marketing Federations, cooperatives, companies, food processors, and self-help groups.

The E-NAM platforms* will be connected to the Agriculture Produce Market Committee* to help with Operation Greens’ structural and infrastructure components. Through this scheme, the government will also help develop 22,000 agricultural markets.

Under the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act, an APMC is a statutory market committee constituted by a state government to oversee the trade of certain notified agricultural, livestock, or horticultural products. 

E-NAM is an important initiative by the Government of India to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities by using electronic trading portals pan-India for bidding.

The need for Operation Greens

  • The Operation Greens scheme aims to double farmers’ incomes by 2022. Based on Operation Flood, it aims to reiterate the benefits of milk in vegetables and fruits.
  • Vegetable prices crash when production of vegetable commodities increases sharply due to a lack of modern storage space. Thus, the scheme aims to solve the storage capacity problem.
  • Consumers pay less than 1/4th of what Framers receive for their produce. The weak and small links between processing and organized retailing in India explain this.
  • By focusing on these problems for basic ingredients, Operation Greens will not add additional commodities to agriculture.

Operation Greens – Way Forward

A minimal number of intermediaries is needed to link consumption and production centers. It is also necessary to link the processing industry with organized retailing in order to process about one-fourth of the product. By developing forward and backward links, the government can ease price fluctuations, lower prices for consumers, and raise farmers’ share of the price paid by consumers. Food processing industry budget allocations have been increased by 100%, which is a welcome step.

Objectives of Operation Greens 

  • Proper planning of TOP cluster production and introduction of dual-use varieties will stabilize prices for consumers and producers.
  • By strengthening FPOs and TOP production clusters and linking them to the market, TOP farmers can realize more value.
  • Reducing after harvest losses through farm gate infrastructure, storage capacity, agro-logistics, and linking consumption centers.
  • Enhancement of food processing capacities and value addition in the TOP value chain, in conjunction with firm linkages to production clusters.
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