OTHER STATES

Direct access of ryots to markets stressed

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The significance of improving farmers' direct access to markets and establishment of farm producers' organisations was underlined at a two-day workshop on the World Bank-funded Multi-State Agricultural Competitiveness Project (MACP) here over the weekend.

World Bank experts and officials from the Agriculture Departments of various States attended the workshop organised at the National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM), which is assisting the State Governments, in collaboration with the World Bank, in preparation of proposals for participation in MACP.

Competition

Senior World Bank agro-business specialist Graham Dixie said the project would foster development of a competitive marketing system and improve market access for farmers through dissemination of knowledge and information.

"Each State project should address the development needs through expansion of market infrastructure, creation of market opportunities and diversification of farm produce,'' he said.

Mr. Dixie said that the market management should be made responsive to farmers' needs, while private sector investment in agro-business should be promoted.

He also called for improving the relevance of market information and reforming the supply chain management.

Opportunities

Other experts said the opportunities in the agricultural marketing sector could be enhanced through measures such as evolving a marketing vision strategy, agricultural development in the districts and dissemination of market-related information through information technology and mobile phones.

The participants included World Bank specialists Manivannan Pathy and Paul Singh Sidhu; NIAM Director-General Anurag Bhatnagar; members of the State teams from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, and officials nominated by the Union Agriculture Ministry.