Ro­bust Agri-Value Sys­tem

Assocham Bulletin - - INDUSTRY -

The Union Gov­ern­ment is build­ing ro­bust agri-value sys­tem in col­lab­o­ra­tion with pri­vate play­ers to trans­form agricul ture sec­tor from pure pro­duc­tion sys­tem into an agribusi­ness.

Pro­duc­ers, whole­salers, store­houses

man­u­fac­tur­ers, re­tail­ers, and pack­ag­ing houses rep­re­sent­ing pri­vate sec­tor can come for­ward and part­ner with gov­ern­ment at dis­trict level thereby tak­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity for build­ing a value chain sys­tem, in­formed Mr. Ashok Dal­wai, Ad­di­tional Sec­re­tary, De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture Co-op­er­a­tion and Farmer Wel­fare while ad­dress­ing the AS­SOCHAM Con­fer­ence on Nu­tri­tion and Food Se­cu­rity.

"The way for­ward is that we build pub­lic-pri­vate in­te­grated value chain sys­tems which can part­ner state-level pro­duc­tion sys­tems thereby meet­ing the nu­tri­tional re­quire­ments," said Mr. Dal­wai.

"We need to re­duce pro­duc­tion of com­modi­ties that are not sold but boost the pro­duc­tion of what ac­tu­ally is sold as such we need to build a mar­ket-re­lated econ­omy rather than a sup­ply-driven econ­omy", he added.

He also said that the main prob­lem be­ing faced by agri­cul­ture sec­tor in In­dia is that we have not been able to con­nect the pro­duc­tion cen­tres with con­sump­tion cen­tres.

"We need to in­te­grate se­ries of value chains into ver­ti­cally

in­te­grated sup­ply chain man­age­ment fa­cil­i­tated by ro­bust agri-lo­gis­tics in terms of stor­age, trans­porta­tion, han­dling as it would en­sure that un­com­pro­mised agri­cul­tural pro­duce reaches the farm gate, the place where it is re­quired," said Mr. Dal­wai.

He said that con­sid­er­ing about 52 per cent of agri­cul­ture sys­tem in In­dia is rain-fed, there is a need to grow crops which can grow un­der lowwa­ter re­quire­ment con­di­tions. "We need to bring them to the cen­tre of our pol­icy."

"Rather than fo­cus­ing on pro­duc­ing crops like paddy and wheat, we need to grow crops like ba­jra and jawar which have high fi­bre con­tent and have iron, zinc, man­ganese, vi­ta­mins, min­er­als, are anti-ox­i­dants and very good for health as they are low-calo­rie crops", said Mr. Dal­wai. Stress­ing upon the need to fo­cus on re­tain­ing fresh­ness of pro­duce he said that In­di­ans need not fol­low western model of eat­ing pro­cessed food all the time. "We must try and im­prove agri-lo­gis­tics in­clud­ing trans­porta­tion sys­tem in a way that con­sumers are able to eat fresh."

He fur­ther said tha t agricul ture sec­tor re­lated re­search ori­en­ta­tion has to change in the coun­try. "There has been some kind of fa­tigue dur­ing the course of last decade (in agri­cul­ture re­search in­sti­tutes coun­try­wide) and as such they need to re­group as per the new man­date of agri­cul­ture which is just not pro­duc­ing food but also en­sure nu­tri­tion se­cu­rity and pro­duce agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties that gen­er­ate raw ma­te­rial for agro-pro­cess­ing in­dus­try and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor."

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