th July, 2020 in New Delhi, on the recent amendments in Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and enactment of The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Service Ordinance, 2020.
The workshop was aimed at eliciting ideas for building strategies for achieving the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat in the long run, within the changed context of liberalisation of regulatory environment for farmers, lifting of restrictions on inter and intra state trade in agriculture produce and empowering of farmers to engage directly with processors, aggregators, wholesalers, retailers, exporters. The deliberations in the workshop focused on identification of areas where intervention is required by various stakeholders (ministries, regulatory authority, private sector, cooperatives/PACs, farmers, etc.) to meet the challenges thrown up by these amendments on the system of production, storage and trading of agriculture produce/commodities, scaling up manufacturing, accelerating infrastructure development, attracting investments and promoting a consumption-led growth. The goal was to generate synergy among all stakeholders, designing strategies to promote investment to provide infrastructure and build capacities of farmers at grassroots level to achieve the specific outcome of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022.
Dr. Ashok Dalwai, Chairperson National Rainfed Area Authority addressing the workshop
An informed discussion took place and various suggestions emerged from the workshop like mandatory registration of warehouses with WDRA, foundation of aggregate platforms for agro-commodities trading, setting up of an Agricultural Council on the lines of GST council for dispute resolution, investment on cold storage and mechanised transportation, farm gate logistics, etc. The Secretary DFPD in his concluding remarks stated that suggestions that emerged from the workshop would be concretised within a time period of three months.