Agri Business

Measures announced are for long term, will not address present woes: Experts

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 15, 2020 Published on May 15, 2020

Some of the measures that should have come in the normal course are being portrayed as part of special package for boosting agriculture during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the immediate need is to put some money in the hands of farmers, said agricultural expert Devinder Sharma on Friday.

All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), the largest organisation for farmers and farm workers in the country, described the package on agriculture announced by the Finance Minister Nirmal Sitharaman as yet another great betrayal of peasantry.

AIKS’ demands

The government ignored the demands of peasantry for immediate provision of ₹7,500 per month to peasant and agriculture workers households, comprehensive loan waiver, assured procurement at MSP at C2+50 per cent for all crops and 200 days of work under MGNREGS with ₹300 daily wage as well as free ration and essentials till the lockdown is over, AIKS said.

Sharma said the government has done nothing to address the liquidity concerns of farmers so far apart from front-loading the PM-Kisan instalment of ₹2,000 (announced in April), which was rightfully theirs.

“In my opinion, as a first step it should give a sum of ₹10,000 to all farmers, including tenant farmers, considering the kind of losses they had to endure. Across most agricultural sectors such as horticulture, plantation crops, floriculture, poultry and dairy, farmers suffered huge losses during disruptions in supply chains due to the lockdown,” Sharma said.

Post-harvest losses

Amith Agarwal, CEO and co-founder of AgriBazar, an agritech marketplace, said the ₹1-lakh crore fund for farm-gate infrastructure “will significantly contribute towards mitigating post-harvest losses and wastage by giving a fillip to scientific storage facilities and also, help the small farmers earn additional income by way of value-added agri-produce.”

“This is a good development considering the huge amount of post-harvest losses that occur. The success however, depends on good execution of the intent. This will assure regular and quality supply of the raw materials to the agro-processing industry, resulting in better realisation for the farmers as well as offering wide-ranging food products to the consumers,” said Simon George, President Cargill India, in a statement.

Published on May 15, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.