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New Delhi :Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh on July 14, 2017, said only through cross-pollination of expertise and innovations and thereafter synergy during implementation of the programmes conceived we would be able to achieve the goal set for the country by PM Narendra Modi of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Singh was addressing a national summit on `Smart Agriculture Marketing Solutions to Double the Farmers Income’ organised at Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).  The representative from Rajasthan, Haryana, Assam, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Bihar also participated in the conference.

Singh said as per the Third Advance Estimates foodgrains production in the country has increased to 273 MT in 2016-17, oil seeds to 32.5 MT, and sugarcane to 306 MT.  Fruits and Vegetable production has increased to 287 MTs, according to the Second Advance Estimate. He said that there has been a record production of food grains in 2016-17 and all previous records were broken.

But, he said, the farmers have not been getting the corresponding increase in remuneration. The Government is seized of the urgent requirement of strengthening market systems to reduce post-harvest losses to enable farmers to tide over both situations of bumper production leading to a glut and abrupt price fall and incidences of less production resulting in the availability of meagre marketable surplus.

The Agriculture Minister said the approach adopted encompasses both adoptions of cost effective production and diversifying agriculture towards growing of high-value crops,  agroforestry, rearing of livestock, poultry, fisheries, etc,  as well as creating accessible and efficient markets to ensure better price realisation to the farmers through a robust value supply chain.

Union Agriculture Minister informed that the model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2017, was released to the states on April 24, 2017, and has received a positive response regarding its adoption from all of them. Singh said the Ministry is seized with the consolidation of the Mandis integrated by way of total transition to online bidding and payments so that the envisaged benefits reach the farmers and traders both. He said the aim is to bring markets closer to the farms along with appropriate storage, grading and sorting facilities to reduce transportation costs, distress sale as well as the number of intermediaries.

Singh said an important step that states could take is the declaration of the warehouses/silos/cold storages etc as market sub-yards so that the farmers can store surpluses and sell directly without having to transport the produce to the APMC yard.

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