Amendments to APMC Act on cards: agri price panel head

Karnataka State Agricultural Price Commission chairman Prakash B Kammaradi on Monday said the commission will submit a proposal to the government to bring in amendments to Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act.

Addressing reporters here, Kammaradi said the proposal includes: plans to restrict middlemen from purchasing agriculture produces, punitive action against those traders buying farm produces for the prices less than the support price, legalising support price and also opening a separate ministry at secretary level to fix agriculture prices.

 Alleging that the Centre is yet to announce minimum support price, Kammaradi said as is the criterion, the government should have announced it by May. It’s only twice in a year that the Centre announces support price, based on which the state government also fixes support price.

He also informed that a national-level workshop on  fixing agriculture prices has been organised at Bengaluru on June 24 and 25. Officials and resource persons from the Central Government are expected to attend the workshop.

On the rise in prices of tomato, maize and also arecanut, Kammaradi said it’s essential to plan according to the produces at district-level with the deputy commissioner tasked with the same.

While Dakshina Kannada district is known for black pepper, Haveri district is known for Hebbevu tree cultivation. One can be assured of at least Rs 2.5 lakh income per tree in just six years, he added.

Kammaradi said that Chikkamagaluru district, however, has witnessed a dip in ragi cultivation at 16,600 hectares of land, while maize has been cultivated in 21,000 hectares of land.  The cultivation of sunflower has dwindled, while 23,000 hectares of land is out of farm activities.

The Centre has fixed Rs 5,050 support price per quintal for tur dal while the state government has fixed Rs 450 in addition to it. However, the merchants at APMC yards have been buying the same for a lesser price at Rs 3,500 per qunital. Such issues can be addressed, if group trading is encouraged at markets.

To encourage farming further, the state government is all set to cultivate lands at selected eight districts including Kalaburagi, Haveri, Belagavi and other districts. As per the plan, the government will deploy all its schemes and technology of Krishi Vigyan Kendra.

The government has already released Rs 25 lakh aid towards the same, he said.Not ignoring the needs of farmers, health cards are being issued to them and also soil card to ensure fertility of the soil, Kammaradi said.

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