Maha govt to help farmers cut losses
Mumbai: Maharashtra government, in a bid to ensure legitimate market price to the farmers for perishable commodities, is actively considering a slew of steps including solar-based power supply at subsidised rate to cold storage, development of post-harvest infrastructure and food supply chain, availability of modern technology, guarantee for loan and sharing interest burden. In addition, the government proposes to encourage more and more private sector participation in the establishment of storage, processing facilities and also in the creation of fruit and vegetable supply chain for the availability of quality produce which will benefit both the producers and the consumers.
The state cabinet will take a final decision after it receives report from a high level committee headed by the executive director of Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board.
The committee, which was constituted in April, is expected to submit its report by the end of October. The committee has held meetings at Pune and Nashik, and it will visit Amravati, Solapur, Marathwada and Konkan to hold deliberations with various stake holders before submitting its recommendations to the government.
“Maharashtra is the largest producer of fruits in India, and the leading vegetable producing state as well. However, 40% vegetables and 30% fruits are wasted due to lack of post-harvesting and marketing infrastructure,” said an agriculture department official.
The government will strengthen the processing and handling infrastructure by providing physical and fiscal incentives. Pasha Patel,