New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has entered into an agreement with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) to bring in investments in agricultural sector through public-private partnership (PPP) mode. The FICCI has been assigned to act as project management unit (PMU) to facilitate the process.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar emphasized the need to strengthen the agriculture sector, as it will help in strengthening other sectors as well. He further stated that the PPP model can be the ideal model for growth in agriculture sector and PPP projects must focus on benefitting the farmers through enhancement of their income.
Justifying the PPP mode, Tomar said better things can be done only with public participation, as the Government shall not do all the work alone. “For the progress of any sector, the Government can deliver better with the cooperation of all,” he said.
The Minister said the trade & industry sector is strong and organized and hence it has all the means to promote agriculture sector. “On its part, the Government is undertaking continuous steps to strengthen agriculture sector through various schemes like the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund worth ₹1,00,000 crore, setting up of 10,000 farmers producers organizations (FPOs) and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima scheme,” added Tomar.
Government has taken various initiative to empower farmers, provide them new techniques, promote remunerative crops and improve the quality of the produce at par with the global standards. “Farmers are encouraged by the Government initiatives and the results are now evident. It is a matter of satisfaction that PM Modi’s commitment to double the income of the farmers has reached out to them and organizations like the FICCI are working hard towards achieving this goal,” he said.
The primary objective of this PPP initiative is to enhance the income of small farmers by creating additional value-from provisioning of quality inputs, technology extension to market linkages, and value addition. PPP initiatives are also expected to lead to modernizing agriculture practices, promoting research in climate resilient crops, developing agriculture and rural infrastructure, and increasing agricultural exports. A particular objective is to assist the States to unlock the full potential of their respective agro-climatic regions, and wide variety of agri-produce and help producers to integrate better with domestic and export markets.
Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Ministry, Manoj Ahuja stated that the Government should play a catalytic role in facilitating investments in agriculture sector. Private sector and NGOs should come together and partner with the Government on projects in agriculture which will have a multiplier effect.
Shubrakant Panda, senior vice president of FICCI, expressed confidence that the PMU initiative for PPP in agriculture launched today will accelerate large scale PPP projects in agriculture by leveraging the private sector investments and bring convergence of Government schemes and subsidies.