MoS Food Processing Rameswar Teli lauds private sector for agriculture development

MoS Food Processing Rameswar Teli lauds private sector for agriculture development
The private sector is playing a strong role in aiding development in the agriculture and food processing sectors, said the minister

FICCI Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence in association with Walmart.org organised a summit on ‘Strengthening Agri Systems: Road to supporting smallholder farmers and boosting incomes’ in New Delhi Tuesday.  
 
The summit included leaders in the government, trade organisations, nonprofits, suppliers, retailers and others who are leading initiatives throughout all areas of the agriculture supply chain from farm to fork and engaged key stakeholders across the sector to address the barriers faced by smallholder farmers and farmer producer organisations (FPOs).   
 
Delivering the event’s keynote address, Rameswar Teli, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, said, “I laud Walmart for its Rs 180 crore (US$25 million) commitment towards strengthening the Indian farm sector. The private sector is playing a strong role in aiding development in the agriculture and food processing sectors. This will play a major role in the Government’s vision of doubling farmer incomes by 2022.”  
 
Vivek Aggarwal, Joint Secretary (Crops & IT) & CEO-PM KISAN, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India said, “All stakeholders, across the private and public sectors, must work together to enable better prices for farmers and help them access markets across India. This will necessitate the intervention of private sector players and for India’s FPO movement to prioritise remunerative prices for the farming community.” 
 
Walmart Foundation today announced US$4.8 million (about Rs 34 crore) in grants to Digital Green and TechnoServe to enable programmes that help smallholder farmers have access to agriculture technology, training on sustainable farmer methods, enhanced access to formal markets, and skill and capacity building for farmer producer organisations (FPOs). 

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  1. The NITI Aayog has made a pitch for a comprehensive policy for the crisis-ridden plantation sector. “Time has come to take a fresh look at the plantation sector. There is a need for a comprehensive policy for the plantation sector,” said Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, while addressing members of the United Planters Association of South India (UPASI) at the 1h annual general meeting in Coonoor over the weekend. Stating that the plantation sector was in need of different set of reforms, Chand told the industry to prepare a status paper on the plantation sector for a comprehensive understanding of the issues faced by it. Plantation sector contributes to around 2 per cent of the country’s GVA. He further suggested that planters should not depend on government policy and asked them to be competitive through innovation and development. Chand said sectors such as fisheries and livestock where the government had minimal intervention were growing at a healthy rate of 7.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively. In contrast, field crops, where the government had maximum intervention was growing only at 1 per cent, he said. Chand advocated strengthening of market intelligence for plantation crops and exhorted growers to go in for crop diversification such as agro-forestry to boost their incomes. He further asked the growers to focus on nutritional R Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), National Mission on Agricultural Extension these are the two primary producers. Last week, to support Indian farmers ahead of the harvesting season, an extra 5 per cent ‘safeguard duty’ was added to import from Malaysia. Atul Chaturvedi, president of the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA), said they would ask the commerce ministry to clarify on the Indonesian news. SEA represents edible oil crushing and refining units and is opposed to any direct import of refined oil, saying the refining capacity here is sufficient.

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