Maha govt to help farm­ers cut losses

DNA (Delhi) - - INDIA - San­jay Jog san­jay.jog@dnain­dia.net

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,

Agri department

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