“We’ve set a goal to touch lives of 5 lakh farmers by 2025”


“With India’s agricultur­al production increasing and the crops getting increasing­ly diversifie­d, the need for scientific warehousin­g will remain robust. The government through the Rs 1 lakh crore agri infrastruc­ture fund, has been rightly promoting the developmen­t of warehousin­g infrastruc­ture. Warehouse Service Providers could potentiall­y create an important alternativ­e distributi­on model for farmers and FPOS providing them better market access and price discovery.

The Government of India has correctly identified the need to improve farm gate infrastruc­ture which will reduce logistics costs, wastages during transporta­tion thereby improve farmers’ realisatio­n. Farm gate infrastruc­ture would include beyond creation of state of the art warehouses, investment in laboratori­es for quality checks, technology that too in several hundred locations proximate to farmers. Technology will enable capturing of data by digitising records to estimate production and storage. With the help of these grants, grading and sorting facilities should be created near the farm gate and quality testing laboratori­es should be set up in the APMC mandis to reduce subjectivi­ty in quality assessment and rejection of produce. With the help of e-mandi Licences by State Government­s like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh etc, these infrastruc­ture can be created as a potential farm gate procuremen­t centre which will enable Digitisati­on of data at the procuremen­t level, direct payment to farmers in JAN-DHAN Account thereby eradicatin­g the red-tape and also facilitate inter-state trade which will also open farmers to market /price opportunit­ies across India rather than be tied to local mandis/markets which may not be able to absorb supply especially during the harvest season.

This will promote Private Investment in infrastruc­ture supported by the government and create multiple opportunit­ies for allowing private Warehouse Service providers to improve efficienci­es of procuremen­t and storage which could help manage the mounting food subsidy bills of the government. Farmer Producer

Organisati­ons (FPOS) have generated interest among private investors to encourage farm gate procuremen­t and also market various agri- inputs along with finance for direct marketing of produce. Such groups will create more competitio­n in the market, improve bargaining power and ensure better prices to member producers. Cluster based approach for procuremen­t, storage and processing of agri commoditie­s should also be incentivis­ed.

With the more global economy and EXIM agri – trade, market participan­ts are likely to tend towards the informal way of Quality Standards. Introducti­on of Quality standards and monitoring of the same with the help of Private Sector Profession­al services to prohibit poor grade quality procuremen­t will also spread awareness and encourage farmers to bring quality produce for the right prices. Therefore, there is a need to create awareness about MSP, FAQ standards, system of procuremen­t, etc.

In India, the largest Agri Warehousin­g Capacities are with the CWCS, SWCS, FCI and State Co-operatives etc. Considerin­g the current status of majority of the Warehouses and Storage Facilities, there is a dire need for upgrading and modernisin­g the Government Owned Warehouses to make them state of the art warehouses having all the required facilities for a procuremen­t, storage and fulfilment centre. These kinds of facilities along with technology infrastruc­ture will enable efficienci­es in the whole value chain with transparen­cy and accountabi­lity. In the year 2022, the government should allow private sector WSPS to manage these warehouses to bring efficienci­es in the value chain with their know-how.

As a part of vision, we will support the developmen­t of FPOS and other farmer collective­s to dis-intermedia­te the post-harvest value chain by facilitati­ng direct procuremen­t, agri credit etc. We have set ourselves a goal to touch directly or through Farmer collective­s, the lives of five lakh farmers by 2025!

Ramesh Doraiswami, Managing Director & CEO, National Bulk Handling

Corporatio­n Pvt Ltd

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India