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Amend Agriculture Produce Marketing Act: CII

Special Correspondent

To create a competitive trade environment for farmers and buyers "A farmer lost out to intermediaries and almost no value addition to the product was possible"

CHENNAI: The Confederation of Indian Industry-Southern Region, CII (SR), has called for speedier amendment of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC)Act to create a competitive trade environment for farmers and buyers.

A farmer lost out to intermediaries and almost no value addition to the product was possible, the CII-SR said in a press release here on Thursday.

Farmers had to deal with a cumbersome retail supply chain, which led to the creation of monopoly in many areas. Poor infrastructure of existing APMC yards resulted in huge wastage of produce and existing regulations hampered the food processing industry from leveraging its full potential. There was no system for grading and sorting of produce and their quality did not match international standards, leading to lesser exports, the CII said.

The CII called for creation and modernisation of supply chain infrastructure with less number of middlemen. Multiple buyers should be allowed to deal directly with farmers who could sell the produce to the highest bidder. Increased competition would lead to better quality produce. This, in turn, would encourage the setting up of cooled chain infrastructure, which would reduce wastage levels. Direct procurement from farmers would help processing industries to source the raw material directly, boosting the food processing industry.

Allowing multinational companies to directly source their agricultural produce for the international markets would lead to increased exports. While some States have already amended the Act, others too should follow suit, as the amendment would provide for participation from the private sector and increased competitiveness, the release added

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