Gujarat amends law to give fillip to agriculture

Ahmedabad, Mar 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2007, 06:36am hrs
Jumping on to the bandwagon of the states which implemented the model act for agriculture produce markets, Gujarat on Thursday passed the Gujarat Agriculture Produce Market (Amendment) Bill, 2007 in the Assembly to amend the Gujarat Agriculture Produce Market Act, 1963.

The new amended act is expected to boost the food processing industry, contract farming as well as provide more employment opportunities to the people.

While tabling the amendment Bill, Gujarat agriculture minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama hoped that the model act would also expedite the implementation of various food processing sector projects worth Rs 11,000 crore, memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for which were signed during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit-2007.

Earlier, there were restrictions on direct access to farm produce by processors such as oil millers and food processors. However, the amendment has opened the doors for agro processors, private markets, corporate players and exporters to directly deal with farmers. Contract farming has also been given prime focus. Moreover, farmers would now be able to take their produce directly to ports, which means higher prices for them and an increase in foreign exchange reserves.