Interview

Gujarat Leveraging Tech for Better Price Discovery of Agriculture Produce

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B M Joshi

The portal, e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), is facilitating the farmers to get better price discovery for their agriculture produce. As many as 79 APMCs across the state are integrated with e-NAM, with computer hardware, net connectivity and manpower, says B M Joshi, Managing Director of Gujarat State Agriculture Marketing Board, in an interview with Elets News Netowork (ENN).

Please share an overview of the agricultural scenario of Gujarat.

In Gujarat, there are 224 APMCs, which facilitate the farmers to sell their agriculture produce and get better price for their crops. Cotton and groundnut are main crops of the Saurashtra region, whereas wheat, paddy, maize, tur, juwar and tobacco cover the north and middle part of the state. Sugarcane is main crop so far as South Gujarat is concerned. There are 14 sugar factories being run on co-operative basis. Fruits and vegetables are being produced in the state, but have been de-notified from the purview of the APMC Act.

Gujarat is one of the highest producers of cotton in India. How is your department leveraging this in terms of marketing and economic growth of the state, vis-à-vis the country?

The APMCs of Gujarat are affiliated with the Gujarat State Agriculture Marketing Board, which facilitates the APMCs to implement state/Central government schemes and to prepare and execute various projects. Cotton is a major commodity, which is traded through APMCs and the farmers can have better price for their produce, i.e., cotton. The Gujarat State Cotton Federation is an apex society in Gujarat.

“Farmers need to be educated and made aware of the latest technology and innovations in the agriculture sector, so that these can be used for improvement of yield.”

What kind of technological innovations have been brought forth in the agriculture sector of the state?

e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) is a portal which facilitates the farmers to get better price discovery for their agriculture produce. As many as 79 APMCs across the state are integrated with e-NAM, with computer hardware, net connectivity and manpower. Assaying laboratories are being installed to get quality parameters of the produce. Weighbridges and weighing scales are also being integrated with the portal.

What are the major challenges of the sector and what are the ways adopted to mitigate those?

Farmers need to be educated and made aware of the latest technology and innovations in the agriculture sector, so that these can be used for improvement of yield, productivity and the quality of the agriculture produce.

What are some of the recent schemes launched by the Board? How are those benefiting the stakeholders?

i) Kisan Kalpavruksha Yojana APMCs can have upto 50% assistance from State Government for their infrastructure project.

ii) e-NAM It is an electronic agriculture market platform, where farmers can have better price discovery for their agriculture produce.

iii) Subsidy Transport subsidy of Rs.50 (per 50 kg bag) for potato growers and onion subsidy for onion producers.


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