Recent Agriculture reforms will improve market access and increase income opportunities for farmers: CII

New Delhi: 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.

CII believes the Agriculture Marketing reforms, certainly herald a new era for agriculture and have taken care of a lot of the long-standing reform agenda. 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.

There are a host of initiatives that are already underway to build in the required resilience in the agriculture sector .The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)for instance has focused on extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko Pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop’ while the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) scheme provides financial support to farmers suffering from crop losses or damages arising out of unforeseen events . To augment infrastructure and reduce post-harvest losses, the PM Kisan SAMPADA Yojana focuses on creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet, creating an ecosystem for agri entrepreneurs as they focus on value addition opportunities. CII is of the view, that the recent policy interventions around Farmer Producer Organizations, Agro clusters and Agri Infrastructure Fund is creating and enabling an ecosystem for aggregation, collaboration and access to open alternate markets.

The private sector has been partnering with farmers over decades for enhancing production and productivity leveraging technology, enhancing farmer capabilities through introduction of improved varieties and Good Agricultural Practices, providing market linkages as well as farmer friendly post-harvest management solutions thus creating avenues for enhanced farmers’ incomes. In Banana for example, partnerships have been forged to improve productivity through introduction of improved varieties and Good Agricultural Practices supported by 100% buy back. Similarly, in Rice for enhancing supply chain efficiencies blockchain powered traceability solutions are being implemented to develop connected, clean, traceable and transparent supply chain thus helping improve farmers returns. Another example is chilli wherein interventions are being made on efficient advisory both on pre- and post-harvest care of high value commodities and farmer friendly post-harvest management, solutions are being deployed. For white onion export-oriented value chains have been developed in Maharashtra for improving yields, quality and incomes and there are several other such partnerships where farmers, government and industry have collaborated.

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. This will also create opportunities for collaboration between farmers and buyers like food processors and retailers from pre-planting to post-harvest stage creating an opportunity for scaling these models further.

“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”. – Uday Kotak, President CII

“The Agriculture Marketing reforms create an opportunity to evolve the entire Agri Supply chain into a more efficient and integrated system towards increased income generation opportunities for farmers.

The ongoing agitation is leading to a disruption in the movement of goods and labour. Our members are seeing transit times to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi-NCR increase by up to 50%. This will also lead to increases in logistics costs. Many companies in the industrial belts surrounding Delhi are also facing labour shortages as people struggle to reach production facilities from neighbouring towns. These disruptions can have an impact on the green shoots of recovery we were starting to see since COVID.”
T V Narendran, President Designate, CII

“The far-sighted reforms will have a transformational impact on the agri sector by enhancing productivity, modernising infrastructure, enabling aggregation at scale and improving market access. 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. The policy announcements will also enable ITC to build further on its deep engagement with millions of farmers through its e-Choupal eco-system to scale up farmer training, adoption of digital & climate smart technologies and public-private-people partnerships to support FPOs by enhancing productivity and additional market linkages. Progressively, the building of competitive agri value chains will also help boost exports of value-added products”. – Sanjiv Puri, Chairman CII National Council on Agriculture and Chairman & Managing Director, ITC Ltd

“ Private sector initiatives are also focused on enhancing sustainability. Our Sustainable Sugarcane Production Program covering about 1.5 lac hectares sugarcane area across 4 units in 2 districts of Uttar Pradesh is focusing on productivity enhancement and water conservation through best practices like trash mulching and drip irrigation etc. The objective is to increase productivity and reduce cost of cultivation thus increasing farmers’ incomes. The reforms will enable deeper and long-term engagement between the farmers and the value chain participants to make Indian agriculture more competitive on sustainable basis”. – Ajay S Shriram, Past President, CII and Chairman and Sr. Managing Director, DCM Shriram Ltd