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'Investment in farm sector not hotcake for corporate' 

millenniumpost , Jun 02, 2018

It seems the attempts of the government to simplify regulations for corporate to give a push to investment in agriculture sector is turning out to be a flip-flopper as corporate has filled their coffers by setting up units in rural areas and failed on the front of employment generation for the rural population, including farmers. The government has set a target to double the income of farmers by 2022.

While making the shocking revelation, Ramesh Chand, a member of Niti Aayog, said, "It has come to notice that private sector invest just 0.4 per cent annually in the agriculture sector, which shows their reluctance towards investments in the farm sector."

"The industries set up in rural India are registering a profit of about 16 per cent, but failed to generate employment for the people living in the areas," said Chand at an event organised to launch an online portal to enable Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) to connect with potential buyers at FICCI on Friday.

Highlighting about the poor state of agriculture, the Niti Aayog member said, "The biggest problem with the agriculture sector is that farmers' next generation are least interested in adopting agriculture as their profession. Even though the sons/daughters of farmers have a little qualification, they want to pursue blue or white collar jobs."

"They are more interested in cleaner jobs rather than soiling their hands in agricultural fields," Chand said, adding, "There is a need to diversify agriculture from low-value to high-value crop. Better price realisation for farmers is needed and small farmers can take advantage of futures trading, curb black-marketing and help in value addition as well as food processing."

Speaking on the occasion, Union Agriculture Secretary SK Pattanayak said that there is a need to connect farmers to a value-chain as it would help them in becoming agri-entrepreneurs.

Highlighting the benefits of FPO portal, SFAC managing director Sumanta Chaudhuri said, "The motive behind the launch of FPO buyer e-interface is to improve market linkages by integrating the value chain, increasing market accessibility and enabling smallholders to attract and negotiate with the larger buyer and grow their business."