Agriculture, rural economy would strengthen India: Agri Minister

Agriculture, rural economy would strengthen India: Agri Minister

Ministry for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare organised the first national consultative workshop on Strengthening Agri- Logistics in e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) in New Delhi Tuesday. Speaking on the occasion Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said that agriculture is very important for the country as there is a large population engaged in agriculture. He said that strengthening agriculture and rural economy would strengthen India so that the country can face challenges victoriously.

Tomar said that government is committed to strengthening the economy and infrastructure of rural areas so that every facility is available to villagers at their door-step. He lauded the efforts of farmers, agricultural scientists and the Central and state governments for achieving self sufficiency in foodgrains, horticulture and animal husbandry. He suggested that the disparity between small farmers and big farmers should be bridged and benefits of technology and various schemes should reach the small and marginal farmers.

Tomar told the gathering that the greatest challenge in present times is to provide farmers the correct price for their produce. For this, the Prime Minister has envisioned e-NAM (Electronic National Agriculture Market) that envisages a pan-India e-trading facility for agricultural commodities through integration of existing APMCs. Market integration through e-platform facilitates transparent and competitive bidding by enabling inter-mandi trade of the agricultural produce thereby giving advantage to the farmers for better price discovery. Presently 585 markets across 16 states and 2 union territories have been integrated on e-platform. It is expected that 415 other mandis would soon be integrated. On this portal more than 1.65 crore farmers and 1.27 lakh traders have registered. Through this platform trading of Rs. 91,000 crore has already taken place and in the near future it is expected to reach one lakh crore.

Strengthening the e-NAM platform and making it reliable is the constant effort of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The minister said that it was priority of the government that small farmers in large numbers join this platform. On strengthening agri- logistics, the minister suggested that agri- logistics starts with harvesting. Along with harvesting cleaning, grading, segregating, quality inspection, packaging and marketing have to be done so that the journey from production to consumer is completed.

In the workshop more than 200 prominent professionals, educationists, practitioners of agri-logistics, cleaning, grading, productivity analysis, quality management, warehousing, transportation and logistics start-ups participated. Senior officials from various states across the country were present. Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Purushottam Rupala and Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggrawal also participated in the workshop.

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