Govt For Pvt Sector Participation In Doubling Farmers’ Income

The minister assured for minimum support price (MSP) in maize and said that it is a cereal crop of versatile use and must be promoted as intercrop
File photo Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Parshottam Rupala
Outlook Web Bureau Apr 17, 2021

The ambitious target set by the Modi government of doubling farmers' incomes by 2022 can be achieved through private sector investment and participation in agriculture, according to Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Parshottambhai Rupala.

Addressing the '7th India Maize Summit 2021', organised by FICCI, Rupala also gave assurance for minimum support price (MSP) in maize.

Maize, he said, is a cereal crop of versatile use and must be promoted as intercrop. The minister urged FICCI to send recommendations on this sector which will be used for policy framing.

Farmers will be interested in the cultivation of maize only if it is profitable. "We must project maize as a surplus crop," added the minister.

Meanwhile, stating that Bihar is one of the strongest agricultural states in India, Amrendra Pratap Singh, Minister, Agriculture Department, Government of Bihar, urged entrepreneurs to invest in agriculture and ago- processing sector in the state.

"Investors and entrepreneurs can be rest assured they will get full cooperation from the Bihar government. We want maize to be used enterprisingly in Bihar and industry has a key role to play in it," he added.

Singh said that the potential of maize is yet to be explored and it can be achieved through improvement in the productivity by adoption of new technologies and effective agriculture practices by the producers.

Bihar, he said, always had the potential to be an enterprise state and an ethanol promotion policy will permit investors to directly produce ethanol which will make Bihar the ideal state for investment in agriculture.

Speaking on the FPO's he said, “We want to be an FPO exporter. Our production must be appreciated in the country, and we must have customers not only in India but globally."

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Ravishankar C, Vice President Marketing, Bayer CropScience and Chair of Maize Initiative said: “We need to create public infrastructure so that we can be competitive exporters and not just internal traders. We must ensure our farmers do not suffer a competitive disadvantage.”

Added Gurpreet Bhathal, Director-Seed Sales, Corteva Agriscience, “To realize full potential of maize, it is necessary to make maize farming profitable for farmers. Maize Farmers need good germplasm, agronomic interventions, enabling infrastructure and minimising of post-harvest waste. This could only be achieved through collaboration and intervention. Private companies, FPOs, Govt and Public sectors need to come together to play an enabling role.”

Vijay Kumar Venkatraman, Managing Director, NCDEX said farmers will wait for the right price and need storage infrastructure for maize. India has major scope in maize exports which needs improvement in the supply chain.

Sunjay Vuppuluri, Head -Food & Agribusiness Strategic Advisory & Research (FASAR) Segment, YES Bank, stated “the knowledge paper released today captures dynamics of the maize sector with a focus on India and identifies the key challenges. We need to develop a maize atlas, productivity improvement and agricultural practices.”

T R Kesavan, Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & Group President, TAFE Ltd, said that having realised the potential of maize in generating better income for farmers while providing gainful employment, maize also qualifies as a potential crop for doubling farmer's income.

Over the last decade, maize consumption in India grew at a CAGR of 5.6% while production grew at just about 2.9%. Looking at the rising demand for maize, there is an imminent need to establish a clear road map for this sector, stressed Kesavan.

Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI said that agriculture has been and remains a key focus area for FICCI. "During the past few years, we have been constantly striving to propose key reform measures to the government for making Indian agriculture globally competitive. FICCI will work with the government towards strengthening the ongoing changes to help the farmers", he added.

(This press statement has been reproduced with some minor editing by Outlook Krishi desk)

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