HPSAMB writes a success story

May 19, 2017 10:00 AM

Punjab News Express/Y.S. RANA
CHANDIGARH : Even as their counterparts in the private sector keep crying global recession, the HP State Agriculture Marketing Board (HPSAMB) run by the state government continue to buck the trend and post improved performance. Washing clean the stigma of non-performance that generally gets stuck to the public sector outfits, the Board posted a turn-over of over Rs 900 crore in the financial year 2016-17 when global meltdown is estimated to have dented the earnings of public sector in the country by an average of 35 per cent.
While talking to HTW, Mr Parkash Kashyap, Secretary, HPSAMB, from merely a revenue of few thousands to masterly over Rs 900 crores turn-over. This was made possible due to a number of innovative steps taken to beat back recession, said he. The ranks of beneficiaries continue to swell by the day. An official of the board stated that presently 12 lakh tons of vegetables and 8 lakhs tons of fruits have been produced in the State. Out of this about 90 per cent produce was brought to the different markets for sale.
Mr Kashyap also said that recently 15 tonnes of garlic was sent to Bangladesh. He said that Board has an inimitable track record in catalyzing the assistance and development of the farmers, was also getting ready to enter the new phase of utilizing information technology . He added the Board has a target to computerize 60 per cent of its markets in a bid to leg up their functioning which was 16.55 per cent at present. The Board is also all set to introduce e-Trading and e-payment in a big way in near future. Currently, 80 per cent payments were being made through e-payment. The Board has also taken an initiative to train 100 farmers in a span of 10 days during its training programmes across the state. So far under this initiative over 20,000 farmers/orchardists/stakeholders have been trained.
In order to expedite market information, 39 computers have been installed in market committees in collaboration with the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection, Government of India under a centrally sponsored scheme—Marketing Research and Information Network (MRIN), revealed he. Any stakeholder can long on to the WebSite to have an access to the arrivals and prices of different agricultural commodities in the various markets all over the country. Besides 14 electronic display boards have been displayed to the main markets. These display the latest wholesale prices prevailing in different markets. These were provided in collaboration with the Forward Market Commission.
The state has tough hilly terrain and scattered areas in small units. On one hand non-availability of easily and readily means of transport, on the other there is no facility for protection of agricultural produce in such areas resulted in damage of produce, the board has set up three seasonal markets to cover such areas. A scheme has been floated by the state government to construct collection centres at strategic points across the state. “The construction work on such 22 vegetable collection centres is in progress. During this fiscal, 28 more such collection centres would be set up,” said an official of the Board.
Creating a pipeline of infrastructure that could be structured on a commercially viable line, the Board facilitates construction work and expansion of 17 markets and sub-markets. Out of these, 14 markets have already been constructed at a cost of over Rs 27 crore. In addition, the planning work of market yard at Parala in Shimla district is in progress. `So far 56 market yards have been constructed. New markets have been set up at Waknaghat (Solan); Haripurdhar, Nauradhar (Sirmaur), Ghumarwin (Bilaspur); Karsog (Mandi); Kurluhi (Una); Chauri-Vihal (Kullu) and Kisan Bhavan at Dhalli.
The board has also included six more produce in its ambit through 10 agricultural produce market committees (APMCs). The APMC of Solan has been awarded by the prime minister for its outstanding performance across the country in April this year. Increasing demand for off-seasonal vegetables and fruits in other parts of the country, the state government has taken a slew of initiatives to modernize its vegetable and fruit markets. The board also provides latest information on post harvest techniques, grading and standardization, food safety and quality, good agricultural practices, market information system to its farmers.
Apart from the perceived paybacks of economic growth and employment generation, the initiatives taken up by the Board are expected to offer booster doze to the economic and social advancement of the State. EOM.

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