India has the capacity to export food grains now, noted Pranab Mukherjee, the President of the country as he inaugurated the ‘Krishi Vasant’ an agricultural exposition organized by Ministry of Agriculture and Government of Maharashtra yesterday. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India has made tremendous progress in agriculture during the last ten years and we have the capacity to export food grains now.
He also emphasized that improving the access of farmers to markets is critical to reduce farm wastages, control inflation and increase incomes. He noted that the Union Ministry of Agriculture has declared 2014 as the Year of the Farmer Producer Organization, to enable the farmer to achieve economies of scale. Public Private Partnerships (PPP) can bridge the infrastructure gap in the post-harvest food domain.
There is a need to encourage greater investment by organized logistics players, processors and retailers for developing markets under the PPP mode. This will ensure better returns for the farmer as well as industry the multiple strategies have helped generate sufficient surplus to meet the commitment made to over two-third of our countrymen under the National Food Security law. At the same time, they have spurred the growth of high value agriculture to meet the changing needs of a rapidly growing middle-income population.
The President said in a scenario of growing grain stocks and increasing production of high-value commodities, it is ironical for food inflation to continue for long periods. Loopholes have to be identified to streamline the supply chains and bridge the gap between wholesale and retail markets. This calls for institutional changes in agricultural marketing.