New Delhi, Sept 20 (UNI) Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said that contract farming can empower farmers with technology and provide them better market access.
Inaugurating the National Conference on Emerging Platform for Agriculture Marketing here today, Mr Pawar expressed the hope that pricing arrangements through contract farming can significantly reduce the risk and uncertainty of market place.
The Minister stated that emergence of organised retailing in recent years has led to demand for quality produce and thereby private investment in supply chain infrastructure is getting a boost.
Modern food retailing will lower marketing costs and lead to lower prices for consumers and higher realisation for farmers.
Concerns about the impact of contract farming and organised retail chains for rural India and the small farmers need to be addressed, he added.
Mr Pawar pointed out that the establishment of Modern Terminal Market complexes would ensure both backward and forward linkages to farmers. The newly proposed electronic spot markets can provide a viable alternative to the existing practice of the mandi system, by improving the decision making capability of the farmers and strengthening their bargaining power.
The Minister called for an in-depth analysis of how marketing development infrastructure can be catalyzed in public-private partnership mode.