Centre moots e-platforms at wholesale regulated markets for transparency
Sai Nikesh | The Dollar Business In a move to curb untrade practices in agriculture sector and offer better market prices to the farmers for their production, the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation has approved a Centre Sector Scheme to be implemented during FY2014-15 and FY2016-17. A Rs 200 crore-worth ‘Promotion of National Agricultural Market through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF)’ scheme is aimed at providing a barrier-free national market and an improved market access by integrating warehouse based sales, said the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mohanbhai Kundaria. Through this scheme, the government is intended to provide an alternative marketing channel by creating e-platforms at all wholesale regulated markets across the country. For this purpose, the Agricultural Produce Marketing Companies will be sought for setting up proper infrastructure like IT, among others, the Minister added. As a process, the government is also planning to enhance transparency in auction process and increase number of buyers, along with resolving information asymmetry. In another move to reduce the dependence of imported pulses, the government is implementing pulses component of National Food Security Mission (NSFM) in 622 districts of 27 States including all north-eastern states and hill states in the country, to enhance production and productivity of pulses, informed the Minister. Around 50% of the NSFM funds would be utilized for pulses component and the efforts are already on for the area expansion of pulses, he added. For this purpose, the Minister said that the government would adopt improved production technologies, cropping system approach, distribution of certified seeds, Integrated Nutrient Management, among other methods. The adaptive research projects being undertaken by the national and international organizations would address various other issues concerning the potential yield, the Minister added.
This article was published on February 27, 2015.