Agri marketing system not pro farmer: World Bank expert

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Ludhiana, Nov 26 (UNI) Though the Green Revolution had made the country self sufficient in food but the farmers of Punjab have not got the due economic advantage due to the marketing system.

These views were expressed by Dr Pal Singh Sidhu, Agricultural Consultant for India to World Bank while addressing the scientists in a special function at PAMETI, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

Dr Sidhu said that the farmer was getting just worth 45 per cent of his produce. The big margin is eaten away by middlemen or marketeers.

A significant increase of 40-45 percent in farmer's profit can be achieved if a farmer develops his own mechanism for post harvest handling and marketing, Dr Sidhu added. He informed that the World Bank would soon initiate a programme in six states of India through which a healthy competition among farmers to produce better crops would be encouraged. Punjab has also been included in this project.

He further added that by developing marketing, processing, and information technology infrastructure and through active participation of government and private agencies, a pro-farmer marketing system should be developed that will boost farmers income and bring them much needed economic prosperity.

Dr Sidhu promised that to effectively implement all these programmes World Bank would provide adequate funding.

Speaking on this occasion, Punjab's Director Agriculture Balwinder Singh Sidhu said paddy-wheat rotation in Punjab had been popular because of the marketing support of the government in terms of assured procurement MSPs. He informed that efforts are being made for assured procurement of pulses and maize by the government agencies and when implemented it will give a big boost to cultivation of pulses and maize in Punjab.

UNI

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