Niti Aayog meeting: Gujarat CM bats for agri market reforms

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on July 18, 2019

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani (file photo)

Suggests relaxing Essential Commodities Act to benefit farmers, small traders

Amid prevailing farm distress conditions and growing discontent due to lower income levels, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday underlined the need of reforms in the agriculture market mechanisms and relaxing the norms in the Essential Commodities Act for the benefit of small traders and farmers.

Addressing the first meeting of 'High Powered Committee of Chief Ministers' on 'Transformation of Indian Agriculture' organised by Niti Aayog in New Delhi, Rupani advocated that the small traders / Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and other institutions that produce crop for which minimum support price is declared by Government of India should get exemption from the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

Farmers’ income

Rupani stressed on bringing reforms in the market mechanism for agriculture produces and emphasized that a farmer's income should be calculated based on his profits. In his address Rupani referred to the objective of doubling the income of farmers and expressed the need to bring changes in the current market system to achieve the goal. He stated that the criteria of calculating a farmer’s income should be based on his profits. And by changing the role of markets it would be easier to make it beneficial to the farmers.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was the convener of the Committee Meeting, where issues concerning agriculture were discussed with focus on farm loan, solar energy, rural agricultural market, e-Nam and micro irrigation etc, a statement said. Rupani also suggested that the rural agricultural market should be linked with storage facilities.

Storage facility

"If a farmer uses the storage facility, which is associated with the market, he should be provided with warehouse receipt / credit (loan) facility. Establishing local storage facilities could help the cause," he said. Talking about promoting agricultural exports, he insisted on the need to strengthen the government's involvement in identifying specific areas of international demand in line with the international standard of chemical pesticide residues of agricultural commodities.

He also said that to promote agricultural exports in Gujarat, the Regional Office of the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) should be established. K. Kailashnathan, Chief Principal Secretary to the Gujarat Chief Minister and Sanjay Prasad, Additional Chief Secretary agriculture also remained present at the meeting.

Published on July 18, 2019

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