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Need to modernise agri marketing: PM
Monday, 14 February, 2011, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
India needs a major revolution in agricultural marketing, says Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “Agricultural diversification in food requires back-up support in terms of viable delivery and marketing chains because much of the agricultural produce is perishable. We have not done as much as we should have to promote modernization of agricultural marketing,” Singh said at the inaugural session of the three-day “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health” conference organised by US-headquartered International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The Prime Minister said after the advances made by the Green Revolution in food grain and the White Revolution in milk, the country now needed a revolution in developing marketing linkages. “I have asked the Planning Commission and the ministry of agriculture to focus particularly on this aspect in our Twelfth Five-Year Plan,” he added.

The more than 900 participants at the conference would be engaged in discussing ways in which agriculture can enhance the health and nutrition status of poor people in the developing countries.

M S Swaminathan, chairperson, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, said, “The conference comes at a time when nations are seeking methods by which they can achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including eradicating poverty and hunger. The synergy between agriculture, health and nutrition is in my view one of the missing links.”

Arguing that India has a long tradition linking agriculture and well-being, Swaminathan said the National Advisory Council’s Food Security Draft Bill also takes a lifecycle approach to Right to Food. “The legal and mandatory entitlements guarantee a certain amount of food grains, but there are also enabling provisions,” he said, explaining that these provisions include exploring synergies between agriculture and the government schemes such as NHRM
 
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