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Question – How does transportation and marketing affect agriculture in India? What are the problems associated with it? Elucidate. – 14 May
Since the Green Revolution, India has made significant progress in food security. Despite this, there has been no comprehensive improvement in the income of farmers due to lack of infrastructure in agricultural supply chains. There are many difficulties even when transporting agricultural produce from farm to consumer. This combined with the nature of agricultural marketing laws in India makes marketing of agricultural products more cumbersome than their production.
Transportation and Marketing:
There are many issues and constraints associated with the transport of agricultural produce. If transportation services are unusual, poor quality, or expensive, then agriculturalists will suffer when they try to sell their crops. The main hurdles in transporting agricultural produce in India are insufficient logistics connectivity, and support and facilities to ensure timely delivery of their crops to the markets. Fresh perishable products, which cannot be stored in production centers, and require immediate transport, are deprived of facilities such as mobile cold storage. Although there are some options available to cover more distances in a short period of time, but due to not being cost effective, they do not prove useful. However, ‘Kisan Rail’ service, ‘Krishi Udaan’ scheme, All India Agricultural Transport Call Center, Krishi Rath app are important steps towards tackling these obstacles.
Marketing includes subjects such as handling, storage, transportation, processing, wholesale, retail sales and exports of agricultural commodities as well as ancillary services such as market information, grade and standards setting, commodity trading, financing and price risk management. In relation to marketing, direct marketing, assurance of better returns, over-reliance on the rural primary market, poor market infrastructure, middleman culture, informal trading networks, and processors, wholesalers, aggregators, large retailers, and exporters. The absence of an institutional mechanism to connect with the government is a major problem. New agricultural laws, warehouse-based trading modules, can be found across these boundaries with the e-NAM portal.
Essential facilities for efficient agricultural marketing:
Some basic facilities are required by the farmers. It includes-
- Proper storage facilities.
- Hold ability to wait until the best price is achieved.
- Adequate and inexpensive transport facilities so that the farmer can reach Mandi instead of disposing of it only in his village.
- Clear and timely information of the market price so that it is not cheated.
- Organized and regulated the markets, so that they would not be cheated by touts and brokers. With this, as small a number of middlemen as possible.
The way forward:
- FPO should be promoted in agricultural marketing and at the same time farmer producer organizations / companies should also be encouraged to sell the produce of the member farmers directly to the big buyers.
- Agri-market must be integrated. The government, which has taken steps in the right direction by creating an electronic National Agricultural Market (eNAM) to connect all regulated wholesale production markets through the pan-India trading portal, needs to be made more effective. Apart from this, the construction of Mini Bazar Gram (Rural Rural Agricultural Market) by the government will reduce the distance between the farmer and the market.
- The government has passed three laws to remove discrepancies in agricultural markets. However, to implement these laws effectively, the government needs to adopt a holistic approach, taking the farmers’ unions into confidence.
It is not possible to achieve the ambitious target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 without developing a market for agricultural marketing. Therefore, this is the right time when attention should be paid from agricultural production to agricultural marketing.