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Govt to promote contract farming in the country

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) The Government today said it proposed to amend the State Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act and have institutional arrangements in place in a bid to promote contract farming in the country.

Minister of State for Agriculture Kanti Lal Bhuria told the Rajya Sabha that the states have been advised to provide an institutional arrangement for registration of sponsoring companies, recording of Contract Farming Agreement, indemnity to farmers' land and lay down a time-bound dispute resolution mechanism.

He said in a written answer that leading Indian companies and multinationals such as ITC Ltd, Dabur, Hindustan Lever Fritos lay (Pepsi), Cadbury India Ltd and Mahindra and Mahindra were engaged in contract farming.

Stating that contract farming had considerable potential in the country where small and marginal farmers can not be competitive without access to modern technologies and support, he denied that the system required mechanisation resulting in loss of job opportunities, Mr Bhuria noted that contract farming was popular in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

x x x x Bonus on Wheat: Incentive bonus of rs 50 per quintal of wheat over the minimum support price of Rs 650 per quintal is only for the period of start of procurement season, March 20 to June 30, 2006 for the wheat procured by FCi and state agencies.

There was no proposal to mitigate the losses of farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the House was told.

x x x x Agricultural Production: Agricultural production in the country fluctuated due to abrupt change in weather conditions. In 2005-06, as per the third advance estimates the production of soyabean and sunflower are expected to be 8.36 million tonnes and 1.43 MT respectively while that of nine oilseeds and sugarcane was expected to be a record 26.7 MT and 234 MT respectively, Mr Bhuria said in his reply.

The government is implementing several schemes for development of the agriculture, horticulture and livestock sectors including enhancing institutional credit flow to farmers and strengthening cooperative credit structure.

Promoting farmer-friendly demand-driven agriculture extension system and accelerating diversification to high value crops and reforming agricultural markets were among the measures being implemented.

x x x x Effect of Cheaper Dairy Imports on Industry: The Agriculture Department was not aware of any danger due to import of dairy products at cheaper rates on the domestic dairy industry.

However, the data during the past three years showed a decline in the import of milk and milk products.

x x x x Amendment in Co-operative Laws: It has been proposed to introduce a Bill for amendment to the Constitution addressing the key issues for the empowerment of the co-operatives through their voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management, the members were told.

UNI SD VD DS1535

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