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Pvt sector playing strong role in developing food processing sector: Teli
Thursday, 29 August, 2019, 13 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The private sector is playing a strong role in aiding development in the agriculture and food processing sectors. These will play a major role in the government's vision of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022.

This was stated by Rameswar Teli, minister of state for food processing industries, who inaugurated the summit on Strengthening Agri Systems: Road to supporting smallholder farmers and boosting incomes, organised here recently by FICCI Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence and Walmart.org.

The comments were made in light of retail giant Walmart committing $4.8 million (about Rs 34 crore) in grants to Digital Green and TechnoServe as part of its September 2018 commitment of Rs 180 crore ($25 million) over the next five years towards strengthening the Indian farm sector.

The grants by the Foundation have deepened its commitment to improve farmers’ livelihoods in India, and will be used to enable programmes that help smallholder farmers have access to agriculture technology, training on sustainable farmer methods, enhanced access to formal markets, and skill and capacity-building for farmer producer organisations (FPOs).

Separate from this commitment, Walmart India also announced it would grow its direct sourcing from farmers to 25 per cent of produce sold in its Cash and Carry stores by 2023.

“Today’s grant announcement builds upon the Walmart Foundation's efforts to increase economic opportunity for smallholder farmers and their families, while promoting sustainable farming practices and the empowerment and inclusion of women,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president, Walmart Foundation, and executive vice-president and chief sustainability officer, Walmart.

“The work being accomplished by our grantees and their partners is inspiring. We hope the Walmart Foundation’s commitment, alongside the work of Walmart and Walmart India’s direct farm sourcing teams, will help drive real momentum in sustainable agriculture development in India and we encourage others to join us in our commitment,” she added.

The summit included leaders in the government, trade organisations, non-profits, suppliers, retailers and others, who are leading initiatives throughout all areas of the agriculture supply chain from farm-to-fork and engaged key stakeholders across the sector to address the barriers faced by smallholder farmers and farmer producer organisations (FPOs)

Vivek Aggarwal, joint secretary (crops and information technology) and chief executive officer, PM KISAN, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India, said, “All stakeholders, across the private and public sectors, must work together to enable better prices for farmers and help them access markets across India. This will necessitate the intervention of private sector players and for India’s FPO movement to prioritise remunerative prices for the farming community.”

The event also included participation by senior leadership from Walmart India and Flipkart Group.
 
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