Chandigarh, October 11: Haryana Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Mr O. P. Dhankar said that the Government is in the process of setting up four big Mandis in the state to facilitate the farmers in selling their produce at remunerative prices. Out of these, work of setting up 600 acres Ganuar Mandi in district Sonepat is in progress. Besides this, a flower market in Gurugram would be established with the co-ordination of international flower market, Rio de Janeiro to cater the demand of flowers for NCR region. Similarly, a Masala mandi would be set up in Sonepat and an apple Mandi would be set up in 250 acres at Pinjore.

Mr Dhankar gave this information while addressing the media persons after the inauguration session of 32nd World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference at Gurugram today. He said that world level conference is organised for the first time in our country which would help in taking progressive decisions in the interest of farmers and the consumers. Mr Dhankar said that 19 countries are participating directly in this conference including representatives from China, Spain, Mexico, Poland, Serbia, America etc. besides representatives of Embassies of various countries. In addition, representatives from Indian states including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Orissa, Goa, Jammu Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana are participating in this world level conference.

Talking about strengthening the Mandis, Mr Dhankar said that modernizing the big Mandis of the country would be deliberated in detail in this conference. Sharing his experiences of various big mandis, Mr Dhankar said that he visited the Beijing market developed in 1000 acres, Rungis market and Rio de Janeiro market which also enhanced the knowledge of delegation of the department who accompanied him during these visits on how to develop the wholesale Mandis in a modern way.

Mr Dhankar said that in the field of agriculture, wholesale mandis serve as a link between farmers and the consumers and modernizing the wholesale Mandis would be beneficial in the interest of the farmers as well as consumers. He said that at present, huge market is available and we have to expedite the availability of products to them. He said that farmers in Europe are able to sell their products directly to the consumers, similarly we need to find out solutions to enable common man in India to easily sell his products directly to consumers. Presently, people in India are facing numerous challenges in selling their produce and we have to move forward by overcoming these challenges, he added.

Mr Dhankar said that several initiatives are needed to be taken including steps for minimizing the agricultural wastes and improving the quality of fruits and vegetables. He said that since the WUWM conference is being organised here, it was decided in the WUWM Board meeting yesterday evening that now WUWM would focus on developing big markets or mandis in Asia continent. He said that we should not only focus on adopting modern techniques like developing cold chain system, but also take care of the farmer's interest. He said that a market of about Rs. 2000 crore is flourishing on expressways in Haryana but these are unorganized and the fruits are sold unpacked whereas in Himachal Pradesh, the farmer's sell their produce after packaging them. Besides this five new cities would be developed under Panchgram Yojna on Kundli-Manesar-Palwal express way (KMP) Express way, which would increase the possibility of more such market opportunities.

Mr Dhankar said that we should develop the Mandis according to our requirements and situations, and should not follow other Markets of the world. So we would adopt only those suggestions of this conference which would be suitable to our market situations. He said that the representatives would also be taken for a study tour for various works under the e-NAM (Electronic-National Agricultural Market).

Chairman, WUWM, Mr. Zengjun Ma said that India and China are neighbouring countries and he has visited India for the first time. He said that the wholesale markets of America, Europe and Japan are modern whereas markets of China and India were still lagging behind. He said that the Haryana Government and Haryana Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Mr. O.P. Dhankar have provided a great platform to people who are working in wholesale market. This would benefit farmers and consumers of Haryana, he added.

Mr. Zengjun Ma expressed hope that after this conference, the wholesale market in India would be upgraded.

Director, WUWM, Dr J.S. Yadav said that there are two types of wholesale markets in the world. On one hand, there are markets of Europe and on the other hand, there are markets of Asia, but both have different conditions. He said that the Board of WUWM has decided that the developed wholesale markets would assist the undeveloped wholesale markets in Asia in next five years. He said that experiences of mandis in different areas are varied but we should keep the farmers interest on top. Similarly, the reforms of mandis should also be done keeping in view the law of the land.

Replying to a question, Mr. Yadav said that keeping in view the challenges of next five years, emphasis would be laid on stability of the market so that markets should not only become source of income, but interests of farmers should also get priority. He said that a law pertaining to food safety, sanitation and food items would be got enacted and implemented in China by 2020. Similarly, India has a lot to do in this direction, he added.

Others present on the occasion included Himachal Pradesh Agriculture Minister, Dr. Ram Lal Markanda, Odisha Cooperation Minister, Mr. Surya Narayan Patro, Chairperson, Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board, Mr. Krishna Gahlawat, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department, Haryana Mrs. Navraj Sandhu and other senior officers and dignitaries.