Centre to adopt K'taka model for National Agri Mandi

Centre to adopt K'taka model for National Agri Mandi

Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, said that the Centre is adopting the Karnataka model of digitisation of APMC market and single integrated licence system across the nation to reduce the intervention of middlemen in marketing agricultural produce in an effort to widen the market and realise the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to double the annual income of the farmers in the next five years.

He was addressing the farmers during the inaugural function of the state-level farmers convention, organised by Rajya Kabbu Belegarara Sangha, Raitha Mitra Farmers Producers Company and CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute at Kalamandira here on Tuesday.

Stating that agriculture should become a viable and commercial activity, Kant said, “The vision of the Centre is establishing a National Agriculture Mandi (NAM) and amend the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee Act to simplify levies and taxes, and promote a transparent and unified network in the trade.”

However, he said that the farmers should diversify into allied activities such as animal husbandry, poultry, horticulture, apiary, floriculture, organic farming and fisheries in view of increasing their income. “The Centre is concentrating on rural development and revamping of agriculture in order to empower farmers. It is promoting fisheries or the Blue Revolution in a big way and has earmarked Rs 3,000 crore for the purpose in the budget,” he said.

Pointing out that the Centre has provided the highest allocation for the agriculture sector in the budget this year, Kant said that there has to be agricultural efficiency for inclusive development for the nation to register a 9% to 10% growth index over the next three decades. “Agriculture is the most risky business and thus insurance is a must. Under the Prime Minister’s Krishi Bima Yojna, the premium has been rationalised and it is a maximum of 2% of the insured amount for cereals and oil seeds in the kharif season and a maximum of 1.5% in the rabi season. For other crops, it is a maximum of 5%. Steps would be taken to bring sugarcane, silk and plantains under the insurance scheme with a little modifications to safeguard the interest of the farmers,” he said.

“The policy of the Centre is ‘Water to every farmland and more crop per drop of water’. So, water conservation and judicious use of water will get priority. If sugarcane growers adopt drip irrigation and bring down water consumption, insurance would not be a problem,” he said.

When president of Rajya Kabbu Belegarara Sangha Kuruburu Shanthakumar pointed out that already 30% of sugarcane growers have implemented drip irrigation on their farms. He said, “The percentage should reach at least 75% and the government would enhance its financial assistance for the adoption of technology.”

‘Extension machinery in a slumber’

Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, said that there is a need to rejuvenate the system supporting the agriculture sector and activate extension work.

Recalling that the Green Revolution was possible due to dedicated work of extension staffers of the state governments in introducing and demonstrating new seeds and fertilisers to the farmers, Kant said, “Now the extension machinery is in a slumber.”
Director of CFTRI Ram Rajasekharan said, “Farmers are welcome to visit the institute to learn about the new super food Chia and Quinoa, and also about other technologies related to agriculture products. They need neither an appointment nor a visiting card to visit the CFTRI as earlier, they can just walk-in and interact with the scientists.”

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