Post-harvest losses

Agriculture is the spine of Indian financial system, a truth reaffirmed by the distinctive efficiency of this sector because the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The bumper harvest and file procurement regardless of the lockdown restrictions have been among the many few brilliant spots amid the gloom. Thanks to the farmers’ toil, the Centre has taken on the onerous job of offering free ration to about 80 crore individuals for eight months (April to November). The authorities has now got down to deal with a much-neglected subject: post-harvest losses. On Sunday, PM Narendra Modi launched a financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore below the Agri-Infra Fund with the aim of bettering post-harvest infrastructure in villages and boosting farmers’ revenue.

There have been umpteen instances of foodgrains price crores of rupees rotting within the open because of improper storage in Punjab and different states. Desperate growers dumping their produce on the highway after a crash in costs can be a standard sight. Once harvesting is over, losses happen because of a number of causes: poor storage amenities, transportation issues, faulty packaging, unfair advertising practices, flawed insurance policies and so on. The authorities claims that the ‘One Nation, One Mandi’ initiative, which guarantees farmers myriad choices to promote their produce with out the intervention of middlemen, is heading in the right direction. The problem is to make sure that farmers get the MSP (minimal help worth) for his or her crop they usually don’t should face the ignominy of misery sale. In 2015, the Shanta Kumar Committee’s report had talked about that hardly six per cent of India’s agricultural households had benefited immediately from promoting wheat and rice to any procurement company on the MSP. This alarmingly low determine reveals that almost all of the farmers have been left to fend for themselves by successive governments.

Apart from initiating reforms within the farm sector, the Centre must dispel fears that the tried-and-tested MSP regime can be carried out away with to clear the sector for personal gamers. Farmgate gross sales, whereby farmers promote their produce on to the patrons, needs to be promoted in order to scale back storage and transportation prices. A food-secure nation owes it to those that make the granaries overflow.

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