Fo­cus on pric­ing and mar­ket­ing

Rural & Marketing - - EDITORIAL - Tafeem Sid­diqui As­so­ciate Editor

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.

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