Modi holds meeting to deliberate on agricultural reforms

PM Modi at UNGA
New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in New York on Sep 27, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a meeting to deliberate on the issues and reforms required in the agriculture sector.

At the meeting, special emphasis was given on reforms in agricultural marketing, management of marketable surplus, access of farmers to institutional credit and freeing agriculture sector of various restrictions with appropriate backing of statutes, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.

Focus was given on making strategic interventions in the existing marketing eco-system and bringing appropriate reforms in the context of rapid agricultural development.

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 agricultural produce to ensure fairest return to the farmers 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.

Discussion also emanated on the possibilities of uniform statutory framework in the country to facilitate new ways for farming, which will infuse capital and technology into the agrarian economy.

The pros and cons of bio-technological developments in crops or enhancement of productivity and reduction in input costs was also deliberated upon. 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 the present times so that large scale private investment in post-production agriculture infrastructure is incentivised and also has a positive effect on the commodity derivative markets.

Developing a ‘Brand India’, creation of commodity specific boards/councils and promotion of agri-clusters/contract farming were some of the interventions that were deliberated upon to boost agricultural 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 the farmers. The Prime Minister emphasised on the dissemination of technology till the last mile and making the farmers more competitive in the global value chain.

It was decided to further strengthen the role of FPOs to bring vibrancy in agrarian economy, transparency in agriculture trade and ensure maximum benefits to the farmers. Overall emphasis was given on revisiting the existing laws governing the market for better price realisation and freedom of choice to the farmers.

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