Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Saturday welcomed foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector. He said he had given his consent for FDI in the retail sector in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently even as some States were opposed to the move on the ground that it would lead to closure of small and roadside outlets. He was addressing a gathering of farmers on the Horticulture University campus here as part of his second of the Indiramma Baata programme.

Mr. Reddy expressed confidence that farmers would benefit from the move by way of having a chain of cold storages and godowns with the help of FDI for preservation of agricultural products, mostly perishable in nature, and finding better market facilities. “The farmers will definitely get better prices than what they are getting now if a chain of retail outlets comes up. I can vouch for it,” he said.

The Chief Minister favoured integration of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme with agricultural operations so as to mitigate unrest among the farmers over increasing labour cost in the farm sector.

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