Rs 400 crore supply chain project for fruits, vegetables on the cards
The state would create a robust value chain system for fruits and vegetables and make the existing supply chain systems more efficient, said Shunchonngam Jatak Chiru, principal secretary, Directorate of Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business, Tamil Nadu, here on Thursday. He was in the city to attend the agricultural entrepreneurial workshop at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU).
Speaking to TOI on the sidelines of the workshop, Agpreum 2018 - Transforming Agriculture Value Chain, Chiru said the state was looking at making organic links in agricultural supply chains more efficient. “This can be done by ensuring that people, who don’t contribute to the chain, don’t get an undue gain over farmers. The profit should be passed on to the producers. The aim is to increase farmers’ income,” he said.
Chiru added that the state was working on a supply chain project for fruits and vegetables. “The project is estimated to cost Rs 400 crore. And this will help farmers to add value to their produce by grading and sorting. If these measures are done by others, they should be brought closer to farmers,” he added.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the workshop, Chiru said today food producer organisations (FOPs) were driven by outside bodies such as National Bank For Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), state government and NGOs. “What we need is a consortium of FPOs in the state,” he said. Pointing to e-marketing portals, he said the time was favourable for agri entrepreneurs.
Speaking on e-marketing of farm produce, R Amalorpavanathan, deputy managing director, Nabard, Mumbai, said through e-National Agriculture Marketing platform, farmers could get e-receipts, which were like stocks. Farmers can get money in advance and repay them when they sell their produce, he said. Securities and Exchange Board and Nabard have been working together for the e-receipt scheme, he added.
“Nabard has sanctioned 2,000 crore for agriculture market infrastructure development fund. Tamil Nadu farmers would benefit a lot from this,” he said.
P N Vedanarayanan, chief advisor, pulses seed hub coordination cell, said the focus should be more on increasing the productivity, as the land available for farming in the country had been shrinking. “Farmers should become more of farm managers and have a clear plan,” he said.