Bhubaneswar: Grading and Standardization plays a vital role in orderly marketing of agricultural produce. It is the only tool in safeguarding the consumer interest as well as providing remunerative price to the farmers according to the quality of their agricultural produce.
The Govt. of India have launched AGMARK grading certification programme for certain essential commodities like oil, ghee, butter, ground spices, honey, atta and besan etc. under the provision of Agricultural Produce Grading and Marking Act of 1937.
The State Govt. have provided grading laboratory facilities for smooth operation of this quality control programme for the benefit of the consumers to provide them with quality produce under the seal of AGMARK. State Govt. have so far provided only one grading laboratory to the Director of Agricultural Marketing, Odisha to facilitate AGMARK Grading Programme for the above commodities to the small and medium manufacturers interested to grade their agricultural produce.
The objectives of “Grading and Standardization of Agricultural Produce” project are to sensitize the manufacturers/ traders to get AGMARK for their produce. Traders’ meets in each District are to be organized in collaboration with the Regulated Market Committees.
The Officers from Odisha State Agricultural Marketing Board (OSAMB) and Directorate of Agricultural Marketing will interact with the traders and sensitize them on the benefits of AGMARK Grading and to create quality awareness.
Directorate of Agricultural Marketing with the support of Odisha State Agricultural Marketing Board (OSAMB) and the Regulated Marketing Committees (RMCs) will sensitize farmers to take up grading of agricultural produce prior to sale in the Market Yards to fetch a better price for their produce. There are good arrivals of paddy, cotton, oilseeds, coconut, turmeric, chilly, vegetables in the market yards under the R.M.Cs. It is proposed to facilitate grading of the agricultural produce in the RMC Market Yards.
Numerous activities are envisaged under the Scheme. Exposure visit of the grading personnel of the Directorate of Agricultural Marketing and the Secretary of the R.M.Cs to other States will facilitate in having an in-depth study on grading of Oilseeds, Turmeric, Pulses, Cotton, Chilly etc. in the market yards under different A.P.M.Cs. of those States.
Commodity specific training programmes on grading are to be organized. It is proposed to organize two training programmes for grading of cotton at Gunupur and Kesinga for the farmers, traders and procuring agencies inviting experts from the D.M.I., Govt. of India.
Similarly, one specialized training programme for grading of Maize is to be organized at Nawarangapur. Orientation programmes on grading & marking of agriculture produce to field staff are to be organised. There is a necessity of regular orientation and training programme for the Market Committee Staff to acquaint them with the new technologies to cope-up with the changing marketing scenario.
It is proposed to organize one such orientation training programme for the market committee staff at Bhubaneswar inviting all experts from line Deptt. as resource persons. Setting up of Grading Units in important Market Yards with facilities for dissemination of samples of different grades is also essential.
It is proposed to set up at least 5 grading units in the first phase with fully equipped grading equipment for analysis of specific commodities in important Market Yards under R.M.Cs with provision for dissemination of graded samples of different commodities and training facilities for the farmers on self-analysis of the produces.
There is necessity for one more mobile grading laboratory to impart training and supervision of the Paddy Procurement operation, utilization of grading equipment in the procurement centre and settlement of dispute on the spot on quality, to the employees of the R.M.Cs, PACS, LAMPS and farmers on FAQ Standards, training.
An amount of Rs. 30 lakh has been provided under the State Plan for the year 2013-14 to take up the aforesaid activities. The amount will be utilised in Promotion of Grading under AGMARK and Grading at Producers level. Detailed financial estimates are already prepared.
Rs. 4 lakhs will be spent on Promotion of Grading under AGMARK. Out of these Rs. 4 lakhs, Rs. 3 lakh will be utilised for Renovation of the existing Grading Laboratory in the Directorate and Rs. 1 lakh will be used in organising 30 nos. of Manufacturers/Traders’ meet at District level. An amount of Rs. 26 lakhs will be spent on Grading at Producers level.
Out of this 26 lakhs, Exposure visit to different States will cost Rs. 2 lakh, 3 nos. of Commodity Specific training programmes will cost Rs. 1.5 lakh, 1 Orientation Training Programme for R.M.C. Staffs at BBSR will cost Rs. 2.5 lakhs, Setting up of 5 nos. of Grading Units under 5 nos. of RMCs. will cost Rs.10 lakhs and Rs. 10 lakhs will be utilised in setting up of 1 no. of Mobile Laboratory with grading equipments.