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Economy Aug 29, 2012

Build strong agri-linkages: govt to private firms

New Delhi: In order to improve food value chain performance, the agriculture ministry today asked private firms to help build strong linkages between farm production and markets.

"Entry of business houses in agriculture linkages is not clearly having visible impact on farmers because backward linkages are not complete. There is a lot of room to grow," agriculture secretary Ashish Bahuguna said at the CII summit on cold chain development.

Government wants better commerce on farm produce. PTI

"I suggest you (private companies) to come up with a strong policy to build backward linkages," he said, adding that the ministry is looking forward for an effective model that addresses all issues from farm-to-fork.

Stating that strong backward linkages will help both farmers and consumers, Bahuguna recommended private companies to roll out a model in states and demonstrate its efficacy.

He also said that addressing one particular bottleneck in the food value chain will not serve the purpose, the entire linkages between farm to market need to be strengthened to see its visible impact on farmers and consumers.

Echoing similar views, Planning Commission member Saumitra Chaudhuri said that there are multiple challenges in agriculture. "Solving one problem will not help. We need to address all issues holistically," he emphasised.

National Horticulture Mission director and joint secretary in agriculture ministry, Sanjeev Chopra said that the government has schemes to provide sufficient fund support for development and upgradation of cold chain infrastructure.

So far, cold chains were for storing potato only but now new investment are required to establish cold chain infrastructure for other farm produce, he said.

About 50 percent of the country total cold chain capacity has been established in last 10 years, he added.

PTI

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