Advisory body suggests creation of farmer firms
In a recent meeting, the NAC, headed by UPA-II chairperson Sonia Gandhi, urged the government to provide financial support for creation of farm producers’ companies under the existing Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) for the farm sector.
The council had urged for fund allocation under existing CSS, such as Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojona, National Food Security Mission, Integrated Watershed Management Programme and National Rural Livelihood Mission for creation of farmers companies.
These companies would help farmers in marketing and financing activities, among other things.
“Small farmers' bodies should be included as a recognised category under the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) Act and be allowed to market members’ produce directly to buyers of their choice, through all platforms,” NAC stated in its recommendation.
The council also stressed that building 'collectives of smallholders' will address many critical farm-related issues, such as those related to markets, value-addition and post-harvest activities.
Besides these collectives would also deal with input issues such as credit, plant protection, insurance and nutrients, all of which 'will have positive impact on productivity and risk mitigation directly'.
The council, which plays a crucial role in the government's policymaking, has also suggested the establishment of an apex body to support small farmers' associations and boost access of investment capital for the agricultural sector.
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