Focus on pricing and marketing
Agriculture research and technologies are making immense contribution to the growth of farming sector in the country and now the government needs to implement the Farmers Commission’s report in right spirit. Focus on market, pricing and marketing, as recommended by the Commission, would certainly lead to farmers’ welfare.
It was indeed an opportunity, anybody with interest in the agriculture and overall economic development of the country, would not like to miss. Rural & Marketing team recently got an opportunity to interact with Prof MS Swaminathan. His contributions to the nation are manifold, ranging from agricultural research to making of several government policy initiatives.
During a long discussion on various subjects, farmers’ welfare emerged as core issue and his commitment to that was unquestionable. He firmly believes that the agricultural destiny has changed, but the farmers are still at receiving end. Technology, pricing, marketing and research are the crucial aspects for agriculture.
If the government wants to push agriculture sector, farmers should come first and everything else would follow. The Farmers Commission, headed by Prof. Swaminathan made several recommendations pertaining to farmers’ welfare and interestingly those recommendations were also included in BJP manifesto during 2014 general elections. The Commission had recommended a formula for Minimum Support Price (MSP) which should be Cost of production + 50 percent of the production cost ( C+50). Presently, the MSP is merely 10-15 percent higher than the cost. In Pharma sector, the difference is 300 to 400 percent.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on August 15, 2015 had announced the inclusion of farmers welfare in the name of the Ministry of Agriculture. It is an indication that the Ministry is not only for how much tonnes of food needs to be produced, but for the welfare of the farmers. Has anything changed on the ground? Let us find the answer.