Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said farmers are not getting right price in view of bumper crop, but the government is making speedy efforts to reform agri-markets and ensure better realisation for growers, reported PTI. Since agriculture is a state subject, a three-year road map to double farmers income by 2022 has been prepared and sent to state governments for implementation, he said.
"It is true than foodgrain production touched record in 2016-17 crop year. It is true that farmers are not getting right price for their produce," Singh said at a Ficci event on smart agri-marketing. Some government schemes are being implemented to support farmers when prices fall, but the solution lies in a strong and efficient agri-marketing system, he said. Stating that farmers should have various marketing platforms to sell their produce, Singh said that the government therefore launched electronic platform (eNAM) under which 455 mandis in 13 states are connected so far. The target is to connect 585 mandis by March 2018. The minister further said, "Even 585 mandis are less for 12 crore farmers. So, we have come out with a model law on agricultural marketing. We are making speedy efforts". The draft law, which proposes to overhaul existing laws, aims to encourage setting up of single market within a state, private wholesale markets, direct sale by farmers to bulk buyers, and promotion of electronic trading. It also proposes to cap market fees and commission charges payable by a farmer after bringing produce to a wholesale market, and help create a national market with provisions for an inter-state trading licence. Under the new model law, traders will be able to transact in all markets within a state by paying a single fee and sell perishables such as fruits and vegetables outside existing mandis (wholesale markets).
Singh said the state governments have been asked to amend their mandi laws according to the model law. Rajasthan has partially implemented it. He also quipped that had the previous government initiated agri-market reforms, the farmers would not have faced the problem at present. Rajasthan Agriculture Minister Prabhulal Saini, NCDEX Managing Director and CEO Samir Shah, Monsanto India CEO Shilpa Divekar Nirula, among others were present at the event.