Farm sector growth is likely to be higher at 3.1 per cent in the current fiscal compared with 2.9 per cent in 2018-19, government think-tank NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand said on Thursday. More competition and private investment is the need of the hour, he said, adding that the role of private sector in Indian agriculture sector has to come in a big way.
“India’s farm sector growth for the current fiscal is expected to remain higher at 3.1 per cent,” Chand said while addressing an industry body Assocham event here. The overall farm sector growth stood at 2.9 per cent in the 2018-19 fiscal. It was 2 per cent and 2.1 per cent in the first and second quarter of the 2019-20, respectively.
Emphasising on private investment, Chand said the face of agriculture from traditional to modern, and movement of agriculture from present stage to higher evolution will not happen without active involvement of private sector. “Unless we increase corporate sector’s investment and involve them from seed and continuing it up to sale, it would be difficult to cause a breakthrough in growth of agriculture and doubling farmers’ income,” he said in a statement.
Chand also said that the NITI Aayog was trying to convince the central government to make up its mind in drafting a Model Land Lease Act. With regard to the implementation of the model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act and contract farming law, he said, “I think we need to persuade the states, we are already trying to do it that those two acts are adopted by the states”.
In his keynote address, National Rainfed Area Authority (NREA) CEO Ashok Dalwai said: “To avoid food wastage, we need to build an infrastructure to store what we cannot consume”.
Horticulture Commissioner B N Srinivasa Murthy said that India can easily compete with any western country in food value chain partnerships if the country focuses on micro-level products like coconut, honey, wine and more.