Agri Business

Farmers' interests cannot be sacrificed, says Tomar on RCEP deal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 08, 2019

India to organise first ever international cooperative trade fair later this week

Union Agriculture Ministry does not want the RCEP deal to hurt the interests of farmers in the country and has given its opinion to the Commerce Ministry in this regard, Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday.

"We have informed that Commerce Ministry that the farmers should not suffer because of the deal. What would be the stand of the government on RCEP would be known very soon," said Tomar. The Minister was talking to reporters about the forthcoming India International Cooperative Trade Fair (IICTF), first-ever such event organised by the government.

Tomar, however, refused to spell out what exactly was the opinion his ministry has given to the Commerce Ministry.

Role of cooperative sector

The fair, to be held at Pragati Maidan between October 11-13, is being seen as an opportunity to recognise the significant role that the cooperative sector can play in increasing agriculture exports from the country from the present $30 billion to $60 billion by 2022, the Minister said adding that around 94 per cent of Indian farmers are members of at least one cooperative institution.

IICTF, in which organisations from 35 countries have shown interest in participating, would serve as a platform to promote cooperative-to-cooperative trade within India and abroad, leading to enhanced rural and farm prosperity, he said. This would give the vibrant cooperative movement in the country to foray into exports, he added.

The trade fair is expected to evolve as a conducive environment for cooperative trade in the global arena, help in expansion and diversification of business and technology transfer, besides helping lay quality benchmark for cooperative products. The fair is likely to result in sharing best practices, collaborations and partnerships.

Floods and crop damage

The Minister said the floods in Bihar have resulted in extensive crop damage. The crop losses were reported from other states as well. As and when the states intimate the Ministry about the damage, it has been sending expert teams to assess the cost, he said.

On PM-Kisan

The provision to allow beneficiaries to register and correct their particularly on their own in PM-Kisan (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi) has been widely accepted, and as many as 5.5 lakh farmers have already rectified the errors in their registrations, helping them to avail the payout instalment in their bank accounts. The government had made Aadhaar seeding compulsory for getting the second PM-Kisan instalment onward.

Published on October 08, 2019

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