Even as a deadlock persists between farmers and the government over the three farm laws, industry body CII on Tuesday said the stipulated agriculture marketing reforms certainly herald a new era for the farm sector and have taken care of a lot of the long-standing issues.
“The reforms will create the right enabling environment for market and investment led agricultural growth, and increased income generation opportunities for farmers. The reforms will also give great impetus to investment in extension services to the farmers to further improve productivity and returns,” CII said in a statement.
The recent reforms, are part of larger set of coordinated and comprehensive initiatives that have been taken by the government, focused on the input side, introducing risk mitigation measures, reducing post-harvest losses and augmenting market and income opportunities for farmers, it said.
“Given the need of the hour, the progressive agri marketing reforms aimed towards ‘Moving to One Nation, One Market’ are a significant step that will enable better access to markets, catalyse creation of primary processing infrastructure, improve access to technology and more importantly will help augment farmers’ incomes,” said Uday Kotak, CII president.
Highlighting that the Centre has taken a number of initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), PM Kisan SAMPADA Yojana, the chamber said private sector has been partnering with farmers over decades for enhancing production and productivity leveraging technology, enhancing farmer capabilities through introduction of improved varieties. Private companies also making efforts for implementation of Good Agricultural Practices, providing market linkages as well as farmer friendly post-harvest management solutions thus creating avenues for enhanced farmers’ incomes.
Demonstrating CII’s strong conviction that the measures will enhance farmer incomes, it is piloting a capacity building and procurement facilitation programme covering 50 FPOs across 9 crop value-chains, said Sanjiv Puri, ITC CMD, who is also Chairman of CII National Council on Agriculture.
“CII believes the reform process initiated will help establish a competitive marketing ecosystem where farmers enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale of agri produce through competitive alternative trading channels creating more income augmentation opportunities for farmers,” the statement said.
“The agriculture reforms will enable better price discovery for farmers while creating a National Market for agriculture. While government has provided assurance that the MSP system will not be dismantled there is definitely an opportunity to increase farmer incomes significantly by diversification to high-value crops and livestock, the demand for which is increasing at three to five times that of cereals,” said Ashok Gulati, co-chairman of CII National Council on Agriculture.