17 July 2020, New Delhi: ASSOCHAM invited the policy makers and the industry to discuss One Nation, One Agriculture Market. The recent ordinance aims at creating additional trading opportunities outside the APMC market yards to help farmers get remunerative prices due to additional competition.
The web conference was joined by Mr. P.K. Swain, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, GOI. Speaking on the policy changes, Mr. Swain mentioned that the government was keeping a close track on the farming sector and these changes have not come as a surprise but several steps have been taken in strategic order to come up to these policy changes. The value chain has now become a demand driven which was previously supply driven.
The amendment of essential commodity act will give a boost to the agriculture sector, said Mr. Sagar Kaushik, COO, UPL Ltd. The decisions taken by the government is inline with Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India mission. Farmers now have the freedom to sell and are open to price discovery in the market.
- Inter-state agriculture trade now hurdle free
- Farmers can now engage in direct marketing
- Cabinet approves amendment of the Essential Commodities Act
Mr. G. Chandrashekhar, Senior Editor and Policy Commentator moderated the discussion to bring out the perspective of the industry towards the policy changes. Dr. Murli Manohar Krishna, Director, G.D. Foods (TOPS) & Mr. Sarat Mulukutla, Chief Business Officer, Agribazaar, supported the ordinance and mentioned that the farmers now can focus on the quality of their produce. The Buyers / Procurers now have a wide range of options on farm produce in terms of quality standards, price and seasonal availability.
Mr. Shom Chatterjee, Head – Procurement & Logistics, ITC Foods Division, mentioned, “Shorter and efficient supply chains can now be made which also reduces the wastage across channels.
Mr. Rajvir Rathi, Head, Agricultural Policy & Stakeholder Affairs, Bayer Crop Science, speaking on governments decision said that the decision has been welcomed by both the Industry and the Farmers. There were restrictions for farmers in selling agri-produce outside the notified APMC market yards. The farmers were also restricted to sell the produce only to registered licensees of the State Governments. Further, Barriers existed in free flow of agriculture produce between various States owing to the prevalence of various APMC legislations enacted by the State Governments.
Shri Aleen Mukherjee, NCDEX speaking on trading of commodities said that our platforms will empower farmers / commodity traders to safeguard their interests on price; will help hedge their risk of the variable market prices. The amendment of essential commodity act opens up a lot of opportunities for the agriculture sector.
The recent policy change on Inter-state agriculture trade, direct marketing and amendment of essential commodity act have opened the agriculture sector of India. It has opened more choices for the farmer, will reduce marketing costs for the farmers and help them in getting better prices.
Summarising the event, Ms. Nirupama Sharma, Joint Director & Head – Agriculture Division, ASSOCHAM, said “The ordinance aims at creating additional trading opportunities outside the APMC market yards to help farmers get remunerative prices due to additional competition. This will supplement the existing MSP procurement system which is providing stable income to farmers.”
It will certainly pave the way for creating One India, One Agriculture Market and will lay the foundation for ensuring golden harvests for our hard working farmers.