Policy imperatives for sustainable growth
Marketing Board along the lines of existing commodity Boards such as Coffee, Tea and Silk will help focus efforts to:-
- Upgrade established markets.
- Develop new markets with international standards. Regulated mandis such as those that prevail for agricultural commodities are crucial for the promotion of medicinal plants. Some of these mandis have already added various commodities of local importance to their auction lists and have, over the years, specialized in the trade of a diversity of commodities, including herbal raw drugs. To formalise this process, various state governments have notified the list of commodities, whether cultivated or wild collected, that have to be necessarily traded through these mandis.
Rural Periodic Market (RPM) could be the first contact point for cultivator-buyer for encashing his cultivated produce and buying other goods needed by them. There is urgent need to develop these RPM in a phased manner with necessary infrastructural amenities to have a strong base level link in the marketing chain. The private sector needs to be encouraged to enter the storage and warehousing activity and make investment of this magnitude. Village Panchayats, cooperatives, SHGs and cultivator/collector organizations may also be encouraged for undertaking warehousing.
Promoting the creation of facilities for cleaning, grading and packaging not only in spot markets but also in the villages and forests from where produce is brought to the market for sale. There is a need to promote proper packaging after grading so that further chances of adulteration can be minimized. Besides this, there is a strong need to educate the cultivators/collectors for proper packaging and grading before they bring the produce to the market. Scientific packaging should be encouraged at the farmer level through various incentives. Through policies that promote such activities through industry associations, panchayats, cooperatives and non-governmental organizations a fillip can be provided to modernize the markets for greater benefit to all stakeholders.