Radha Mohan Singh Exhorts Mandis to adopt new marketing strategies
New Delhi: Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh has urged the Mandis to adopt new marketing strategies to address the demands for marketing of increased and diversified agricultural marketable surplus. He was speaking at a meeting organised for Agri-Marketing Ministers of the states.
Radha Mohan Singh said that after independence, this is the first government, which is not only focusing on the economic development of farmers along with the agricultural development but also taking concrete steps at grass root level for the development of farmers.
Talking about the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to double farmers’ income by 2022 he said that farmers should be part of mainstream development. This can be possible only when the centre and the state governments would work in tandem. To double farmers’ income, work is being done on three levels.
The Agriculture Minister said that the first level includes production cost reduction and to increase productivity. To achieve that, the states should make optimal use of the central government schemes – Soil Health Card and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. Under Soil Health Card Scheme, the soil is tested and under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana water is made available to the fields. The second level to double farmers’ incomes includes diversification into allied activities such as livestock, poultry, bee-keeping, and agroforestry. The government has taken several steps in this regard. The third and the most important level include providing regulated Mandis to ensure profitable returns to farmers for their produce.
Singh said that after forming the government, several important decisions to improve the conditions of the farmers have been taken. To double farmers’ income, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved National Agriculture Market (E-NAM) Scheme on July 1, 2015, with a budget allocation of Rs.200 crore. Subsequently, under the pilot project, 23 markets from 8 states were integrated by the Prime Minister on April 4, 2016. The main objective of the scheme is to give access to farmers about prices of various markets at one place so that the farmers can sell their yield under a transparent system to a buyer who offers the best price.
E-NAM is seen as a milestone in the government’s Digital India initiative. Also, E-NAM will boost Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by providing compost plants in the market.
To meet the marketing sector challenges the Agriculture Ministry has formulated Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act 2017 and it is being shared with the state governments for implementation
“Its implementation by the state governments will help in fulfilling our Prime Minister’s dream of doubling farmers’ income by 2022,” said Singh.
Another important decision taken by the government is the formulation of model contract farming law. It will help in providing marketing infrastructure, developing marketing skills and in reducing risks associated with diversity in production. It will also help in preparing a price list for all commodities and improving the share of producers in consumers’ money. To achieve that, the government constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Marketing) on February 28, 2017.