“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.”
Recently, Union Cabinet of the Republic of India has approved ‘The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020’. The ordinance brings several Agricultural marketing reforms paving way for the ‘One Nation-One Market’. Earlier there were restrictions for farmers selling their produce outside the notified market yards for their districts.
With the increase in commercialization of agriculture, the share of farm produce that is sold outside increases and sold within the state shrinks. In addition, consumption patterns are being diversified due to an increase in per capita income. People want to consume a range of products often grown outside the state and even outside the country. This requires seamless flow of farm produce across the country without restrictions and barriers. For the seamless flow of produce, it requires strong supply chain that moves products from one state to another state efficiently and quickly and integrate consumer with producer from different geographies. This kind of development will accelerate the growth of farmers where there will not be any restrictions and unnecessary checks and barriers for farmers and traders to buy sell and move their produces. This ‘One nation, One market’ concept is vital to raise price realization by farmers and to supply food to end users at competitive prices.
Goal of this reform is to help farmers get higher remunerative prices by creating new sale avenues and higher competition. This will also reduce the marketing cost and market margin as it be distributed over producers and consumers. This will surely help farmers getting good prices for their farm produce.
Higher Competition in the sale of commodities always benefits sellers. Therefore, higher efficiency in the new marketing and trade environment will benefit all the farmers including marginal producers having marketable surplus farm produces. In order to leverage more from the liberalized environment, farmers need to connect with end-users and consumers directly. They also needs to participate more in online sales platforms. This may require minimum scale which small farmers can create by joining hands with Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) . FPOs and FPCs are the best way to approach in this scenario as these are considered as beneficial institutions for empowerment and protection of farmers and small landholders.
New reforms will be implemented soon. I hope farmers and traders will take cognizance of the opportunity created for them and will start preparing to do business as per the new liberalized trading environment from next season of crops.
“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.”
Use of digital technology and tools will help in achieving the goal of “One Nation, One Market’ by applying it to different agricultural processes from sowing seeds to harvesting crops. Tools and technology can be applied in supply chain of farm produces where creating a unified market through online trading platform helps farmers in selling their produce and getting more value for their farm produce. This kind of online platform removes information asymmetry between buyers and sellers and promote real time price discovery, based on actual demand and supply. Giving access to a nationwide market for the farmers, with price commensurate with quality of their farm produce and online payment and availability of better quality produce to the buyers will surely help in achieving this goal.
It will require lot of efforts to make ‘One Nation, One Market’ popular. The problem is not farmer`s mindset about this transformation but the restrictive regulatory environment and missing opportunities. Better logistics, easy access to modern capital, sharing of market risk, assurance about prices, farm-friendly infrastructure and incentive for diversification towards more paying quality produce and high-value produce will motivate farmers to think about transformation in the ways they do agriculture and the way they do business in agriculture. We need to create environment with favorable terms for the farmers to achieve the real goal of the ‘One Nation, One Market’.
In addition, Farmers are not much aware about the technologies, which are being used across the world to make their task easy. To solve this issue Kratos innovation Labs brings to you Blockchain platform integrated with IoT and Deep Computer Vision networks called #foodlens
#foodlens aims to enable sustainability and financial inclusion to marginal producers and make them bankable again. It enables marginal producers to sell their produce directly to co-operatives or consumers, to provide proof of quality harvest to consumers and to detect spurious seeds or pest attacks during the harvest period. It also enables consumers to trace the authenticity of the food produce and to support sustainability of marginal producers of buying directly from them.
It supports major South-East Asian languages including major Indian languages. The application is open for marginal producers (farmers, meat producers, dairy producers and Aquaculture producers), food co-operatives, soil, sample and food testing companies, food processors, FMCGs and end consumers.
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