Calling for structural transformation in agriculture, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on Saturday mooted the idea of replicating the Amul model in pulses to tackle the growing demand and supply gap.
Highlighting the need for an organisational structure in pulses, Subramanian said, "We need to have an Amul for pulses. Somebody should think on how to recreate an Amul for pulses." Subramanian was delivering the Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Lecture organised by the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) at NDDB.
The 'Amul' model follows the cooperative model, where farmer members of a cooperative collect milk and sell it under the farmer cooperative thereby fetching better price for farmers and increasing milk production. This turned the country into net importer of milk from its previous status of net exporter of milk.
Speaking further on the rising disparity in demand and supply of pulses, he said that while dietary changes in the country were shifting towards proteins through pulses, the policy emphasis still lies on cereals.
"We need a big push which raises agriculture productivity in pulses. And That's going to require organisational (support), science and technology, prices, policy and all. But it is something that government is trying to address," he said.
Subramanian also spoke on need for reforms in policy for incentivising farmers in achieving higher productivity.
Speaking on enhanced market access for farmers, Subramanian said during the lecture, "We have 5000-5,500 markets in India. This means we are widely fragmented market. Farmers are forced to sell their agriculture produces at their local APMCs. And there are about 5,000 APMCs in this country. So, the freedom of farmers is restricted where they can sell. That has caused grave consequences for farmers."
According to Subramanian, a single market model on the lines of Goods and Services Tax (GST) could be created for agricultural farmers.
"There is a need to have an open market like GST. We need to remove restrictions on storage and restrictions of state market boards," Subramanian said in his lecture.