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Pawar sees farmers’ growth in FDI in retail

Farmers will receive good prices for their produce while consumers will get quality products at low cost with FDI in multi-brand retail, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday.

‘Recognising the need to step up investment in the agriculture sector, FDI is welcome for development of seed, post harvest management and in multi-brand retail trading subject to setting up the back-end infrastructure,’ he said at Economic Editors conference.

The minister added that foreign direct investment [FDI] will be beneficial for all the stakeholders across the entire value and supply chain.

‘Farmers will gain on at least two counts: significant reduction in post-harvest losses, and better prices. Consumers will gain from lower prices, greater choice, and higher quality,’ he said.

Allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail had led to Trinamool Congress walk out of the UPA government.    

 
DESPITE DECREASING OUTPUT, EXPORTS TO CONTINUE

The government will continue to export farm items like cereals, sugar and cotton because the ‘switch-on and switch-off policy’ brings disrepute to the country, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday. He said the time has come to frame long-term export- import policy for agri-items and the government is moving towards that direction, evident from the fact that the country has not banned shipments of any items during the last two years. Addressing the Economic Editors Conference, Pawar said the country’s agricultural exports grew by more than 50 per cent to Rs 1.87 lakh crore in 2011-12 fiscal. ‘Our switch-on and switch-off policy brings disrepute to the country. Outside India, whenever I get oppotunity to interact on that issue, people always say that we are not reliable supplier,’ Pawar said.
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