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New Delhi, May 2, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting here today to deliberate on the issues and reforms required in the agriculture sector.
Special emphasis was given on reforms in agriculture marketing, management of marketable surplus, access of farmers to institutional credit and freeing agriculture sector of various restrictions with appropriate backing of the statute, an official press release said.
The focus was on making strategic interventions in the existing marketing eco-system and bringing appropriate reforms in the context of rapid agricultural development, it said.
Concessional credit flow to strengthen agriculture infrastructure, special Kisan Credit Card saturation drive for PM-Kisan beneficiaries and facilitating inter and intra-state trade of agriculture produce to ensure the fairest return to farmer were some of the important areas covered. Developing e-NAM into a platform of platforms to enable e-commerce was one of the important topics of discussion.
The discussion also covered the possibilities of the uniform statutory framework in the country to facilitate new ways for farming which will infuse capital and technology in the agrarian economy.
The pros and cons of bio-technological developments in crops or enhancement of productivity and reduction in input costs were also deliberated. The challenges of model land leasing act and how to protect the interest of small and marginal farmers were discussed in detail.
The meeting also deliberated how it is pertinent to make the Essential Commodities Act compatible with present times so that large scale private investment in post-production agriculture infrastructure is incentivized and also has a positive effect on commodity derivative markets.
Developing Brand India, creation of commodity specific Boards/ Councils and promotion of Agri-Clusters/Contract Farming are some of the interventions that were discussed to boost agriculture commodity export.
The use of technology in the agriculture sector is of paramount importance as it has the potential to unlock the entire value chain for the benefit of our farmers. Modi emphasised the dissemination of technology till the last mile and making farmers more competitive in the global value chain, the release said.
It was decided to further strengthen the role of FPOs to bring vibrancy in an agrarian economy, transparency in agriculture trade and enable maximum benefits to the farmers. Overall, the emphasis was on revisiting the existing laws governing the market for better price realization and freedom of choice to the farmers.