With an aim to boost the pro-farmer initiatives of the government, the Centre on Wednesday approved a new Umbrella Scheme "Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan' (PM-AASHA). The scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
The government has already increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Kharif crops by following the principle of 1.5 times the cost of production. It is expected that the increase in MSP will be translated to farmers' income by way of robust procurement mechanism in coordination with the State Governments. The cabinet has decided to give additional government guarantee of Rs.16,550 crore making it Rs. 45,550 crore in total.
In addition to this, budget provision for procurement operations has also been increased and Rs. 15,053 crore is sanctioned for PM-AASHA implementation.
The government is eyeing on enhancing productivity, reducing the cost of cultivation and strengthening post-harvesting management, including market structure.
Several market reforms have been initiated. These include Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act, 2017 and Model Contract Farming and Services Act, 2018. Many states have taken steps to adopt these through legislation.
Efforts are on for new market architecture, so as to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices on their produce. These include setting up of Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) so as to promote 22,000 numbers of retail markets in close proximity of farm gate; competitive and transparent wholesale trade at Agriculture Produce Market Committees through eNAM, national agriculture market and a robust and pro-farmer export policy.
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