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PM on why India needs to modernise agri marketing

Last updated on: February 11, 2011 07:06 IST

PM on why India needs to modernise agri marketing

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday that the government will focus on modernising the agricultural marketing system and brining in private players to this sector in the 12th Five Year Plan beginning 2012.

"I have asked the Planning Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture to focus particularly on this aspect in the 12th Plan.

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Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Photographs: Reuters
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Modernisation of (agricultural) marketing implies greater interaction and involvement of the private sector," Singh said while addressing a conference of US think-tank International Food and Policy Research Institute in New Delhi.

Pointing out that India has not done as much as it should have to promote modernisation of agricultural marketing, Singh said: "We will work with state governments to ease whatever impediments may exist in this regard."

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Image: Reuters

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After the green revolution and the white revolution, the Prime Minister said, another major change is required in agricultural marketing to keep in pace with the economic growth and changing dietary habits.

"We now need a major revolution in agricultural marketing," Singh said, adding agriculture diversification in food required back-up support in terms of viable delivery and marketing chain because much of the produce is perishable.

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Image: Reuters

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He said such a change is required considering India still faces a big challenge from malnutrition despite achieving high economic growth.

". . .experience has shown that rapid growth in gross domestic product in general and even agriculture in particular, though necessary, is not sufficient to produce desirable nutritional and health outcomes among the socially and economically disadvantaged groups," he said.

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Image: A farmer works in a paddy field in Dhinkia village.
Photographs: Reuters
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Stating that 'malnutrition remains a serious problem in India and many developing countries', Singh said India needs to address the issue of absorption of nutrition, health and hygiene.

He said the government is planning to focus on millets that have a high protein, fibre and mineral content and are extremely important foodgrain for their nutritive value and health benefits.


Image: Reuters

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