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Kolkata. Hailing the recent decision of the Union Cabinet for improving the condition of farmers and paving the way for creating ‘One India, One Agriculture Market’, a number of experts today hoped that this unique initiative would open a new window of opportunity for agricultural marketing in the country in a big way.
By promulgating the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 following the amendment of the Essential Commodities Act, the union government had recently opened the door for barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade in agriculture produce. This far reaching and historic decision would go a long way towards helping millions of Indian farmers in every state while also transforming the agriculture sector to a great extent, the experts felt.
To discuss the issue threadbare, the Press Information Bureau,(PIB) Kolkata today organised a first of its kind webinar in which several experts and professors of Agriculture from across the country participated with lots of inputs on their behalf.
Initiating the hour-long interactive session, senior Professor of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur Dr NC Nayak said with the amendment perishable goods like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes would be removed from the list of essential commodities. “This will also remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations,” he said.
The freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute and supply will now lead to harnessing of economies of scale and attract private sector and foreign direct investment into agriculture sector.It will also help drive up investment in cold storages and modernization of food supply chain, he felt.
Also participating in the discussion, well known industrialist and Managing Directr of JIS Group Taranjit Singh said the government move was heartily welcomed by the industry and many major players had evinced keen interest and even decided to be a part for creating the new supply chain.
“Many of us even from the MSME sector might join the inititaitve by creating the facilities of new warehouses and cold storage for these farm products and could take part in a big way to ensure that there was no wastage of goods, specially the perishable goods, like the present time,” Singh said.
Though it might take some time to crystalise the whole concept, but I am confident that it would bring about a huge transformation for the better for our farming community within the next few years, he stated further replying to a query.
Also discussing various other aspects of the new Ordinance, at the webinar, A Narayan,also a professor in IIT, Kharagpur, Dr Dipankar Gorai, Agriculture Specialist, Krishi Vigyan Ketra Burdwan and Dr Subrata Sarkat, a senior Horiculturist of Kalyani Agricultural University gave their suggestions on how to further improve the marketing scenario of farm goods and what could be the role of Copperative socieities and e-marketing without any major intervention of middlemen .
As a result of the government step, it was the consumers who would actually be benifited from such a revolutionary concept and initiative,which was taken for the first time since early 1990s to bring about a sea change in the conditions of Indian farmers, they said and believed that more money would now reach their pockets.