US-based e-commerce giant, Amazon will now buy and sell apples, stone fruits, and vegetables in Himachal Pradesh and will compete with other representatives in the state. According to reports, around six supply centers will be opened in the Shimla district initially. However, after receiving a green light from Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), Shimla, Amazon inaugurated its first collection center in Balag (Shimla) just a few days back.
Naresh Sharma, APMC chairman of Shimla and Kinnaur stated that “Amazon opened its first collection centre in Balag two days back. It has come to the state for the first time and its entry will help farmers and growers get good prices.”
Sharma also explained why they are promoting the private sector in the marketing field instead of strengthening their mandis. He said,
“Big companies like Amazon, Reliance and Big Basket have their own retail chain. When these companies lift produce from regular market, it helps farmers and growers get good prices. That’s the reason we are promoting private players besides strengthening our own marketing yards.”
With all necessary preparations, Sharma said that the state mandis would be made online within a month for smooth marketing of apples this season.
“Through the software program which is about to complete will help the farmers to know the rates in different mandis with just one click. It is available after it gets approval from the IT Department. Furthermore, it will also allow merchants to request for a license online,” Sharma said.
Work on reinforcing the mandi network and the construction of a controlled atmosphere store and cold chain points is booming, he stated, SIT is established to help producers recoup money from the merchants and had successfully recovered Rs.18 crores from Rs.35 crores. In addition, “Rs.25 crores has also been reserved for building tiny roads and paths that will help farmers to move their production to the main road.”
Amazon’s entry into the venture will benefit both farmers and orchardists. As the increased competition will improve prices for farmers for their production.