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‘One India Agricultural Market’ can Ensure Better Market Access for Farmers Across the Country

Allowing better price realization for farmers is another key objective for the growth of the agriculture sector

farmers, solar scheme
If given to the developers, the farmer will get at least 30-35 paise per unit to ensure an annual income of Rs 1 lakh. Wikimedia Commons

To ensure better market access for farmers across the country, we suggest creation of One India Agriculture Market. Faster uptake of the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (APLM) Act 2017 is needed at state level as it recommends progressive provisions such as single levy of market fee, single licences for traders and de-listing perishables from the ambit of the APMCs.

Allowing better price realization for farmers is another key objective for the growth of the agriculture sector. This can be helped through National Agriculture Market or e-NAM as it aids enhanced competition in terms of increased biddings.

e-NAM, one india agricultural market, farmers
File:The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the launching ceremony of e-NAM – the e-trading platform for the National Agriculture Market, in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

To help e-NAM perform to its full potential, the government’s push is needed to create assaying, sorting and grading infrastructure at the mandis. This will help reduce variance in quality of produce from mandi to mandi, and encourage retailers and processors to procure through e-NAM.

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Besides this, we urge the government to ensure wider adoption of Electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (e-NWRs) to help further strengthen the market. These steps will enable better market access and remuneration for farmers across India, thereby contributing to the Prime Minister’s vision of doubling farmer income by 2022. (IANS)

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India to Set up Bio-Gas Plants to Tackle Pollution, but Experts Unsure

India Plans Bio-Gas Plants to Tackle Toxic Pollution, But Experts Skeptical

Farmer India
An Indian farmer walks through his paddy field as he burns the paddy husk in Chandigarh, India. VOA

India is planning to set up more than 100 bio-gas plants and provide thousands of farmers with machines to dispose of crop stubble in a bid to halt the choking crop-burning pollution that blights the country every winter.

A major source of the smog that engulfs vast swathes of northern India, including the capital New Delhi, is the burning the straw and stubble of the previous rice crop to prepare for new planting in October and November.

New Delhi is regularly judged to be one of the world’s most polluted major cities.

Government-backed Indian Oil Corp Ltd will invite private companies to apply to set up 140 bio-gas plants that will use rice stubble as feed stock, said two government officials, who didn’t wish to be identified in line with official policy.

The plants would cost 35 billion rupees ($487.67 million) and each would require two tons of crop residue every hour for at least 300 days to produce “an optimum amount” of compressed natural gas (CNG), one of the sources said.

The government would earmark funds for the project that would make it attractive for farmers to sell their waste rather than burn it, they said.

India pollution
A woman crosses a railway line on a smoggy morning in New Delhi, India. VOA

The stubble pollution has become more acute in recent years because mechanized harvesters leave more residue than crops plucked by hand.

Other than helping farmers sell their residue to the new bio-gas plants, the government would provide 100,000 new machines every year to farmers to dispose of the farm waste in their fields, the sources said.

“We’ll give farmers the choice to either get rid of crop residue or sell it to the bio CNG plants,” one of the sources said.

Doubts persist

Environmental experts were skeptical.

Also Read- Pollution-Linked Deaths Highest in India: Study

“Given the amount of resources that the government has, what will decide the efficacy of this plan is consistent engagement with farmers,” said Nandikesh Sivalingam, a program manager for Greenpeace.

“But if you expect results next winter, it can’t happen.” (VOA)