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9:21 am - Tuesday January 23, 2018

Agro Problem

It appears that in every situation there will be agro problem in the country. In scanty-deficient rain it is drought and problem of irrigation, in good rain it is floods and long spell of muddy fields. If it is bumper crop than there is price cash and government to buy it on relief measures.

Now even the Government M.S.P. (Minimum Support Price) has also become a problem for farmers. The foodgrain traders are not willing buy the crops at par with the M.S.P. The desperate farmers forced the government to buy their stocks on M.S.P. and the Government was compelled to do it. Such stocks are still dumped in Government godowns as traders are not lifting it on high price tag.

The imported wheat and pulses are cheaper then our own produce. The M.S.P. made the price tag of procured stocks much higher than the imported stuff. In the U.P.A. Government the Food Minister Mr Sharad Pawar was very firm on the points that potato, tomato, onion, sugarcane are categorized as vegetables and perishable item and the Government would not purchase it.

But now the Government particularly the Madhya Pradesh Government is buying onion as relief measure and had to throw it on getting rot. Crores of rupees of public money are being wasted. Some time ago this year the onion and tomatos were not offered the price of ever one rupees per kilo and agitating farmers threw it on roads. Last year the same thing happened with potatos and it is going to be repeated this year also.

The potato crops are also bumper and it will touch markets soon. The cold storages are still occupied by the 40 per cent of last year potatos. With such a huge back log of potato stocks and new arrivals of bumper potato crop will flood the markets and it will overflow everywhere and prices are bound to crash this year also. The farmers, traders and the Government itself are facing this sort of problem allmost every year but then too it has not taken any step find out a permanent solution to such problems.

These days tomato, potato and onion are processed as ketchups purri and preserved in dehydrated form. At centre as well as in States Agro Industries Corporations were set up as state Government undertaking. The object was that corporations will set up agro based industries to give industrial support to the agriculture in a big way to give it another more vital channel of selling their produce as raw material to food and processing industry.

None of the such corporation succeeded in setting such agro industries nor could create infrastructure for such industries lure private sector to come up. Like other public undertaking these agro corporations incurred huge losses after losses constantly and ultimately closed down.

Posted in: Editorial

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