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New age agriculture markets: Opportunities for private and institutional investors

Policy reforms such as allowing private sector for investment; interest subvention for investments and mobility of farmers for their smaller produce are creating an eco-system for growth of this sector

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PHDCCI Capital Market & Commodity Market Committee Wednesday organised a webinar on New Age Agriculture Markets: Opportunities for Private and Institutional Investors.".

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. DK Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) in his presidential address mentioned that India is expected to achieve the ambitious goal of doubling farm income by 2022 due to increased investment in agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation facilities, warehousing and cold storage. He highlighted that the agriculture export from India is also likely to reach the target of US$ 60 billion by the year 2022.

Vijay Sardana, Advocate, Delhi High Court & Member, SEBI Commodity Derivatives Advisory Committee (CDAC-SEBI) in his address mentioned that to achieve the new age agriculture market, there is need to move from commodity mindset to value added mindset. The pricing policy of India such as minimum support price (MSP) without value creation and daily inflation of prices is posing challenges for survival of commodity market. With only technology intervention in agri sector, prices will not increase and there is need to provide product with services and with some added benefit to force customers to pay more. He suggested that instead of reducing cost of productions, innovation is required to increase profitability, to make market self -sustaining and to achieve economic viability of farmers.

Dr.Ashok Dalwai, Chairman, Doubling Farmers Income Committee & CDAC-SEBI in his address mentioned that 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in several segments of the agricultural industry under direct automatic route is biggest reform to attract investments in this industry. He highlighted that the policy reforms such as allowing private sector for investment; interest subvention for investments and mobility of farmers for their smaller produce are creating an eco-system for growth of this sector. He stressed upon the fact that even after providing highest produce globally, share of Indian agriculture sector in international trade is only two percent. To increase this share, under new comprehensive policy approach, digital platforms in agri sector especially for post production is being focused along with availability of data through new software and applications. This step will not only provide opportunity to small entrepreneurs but also will create jobs for youths.

Dr. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog in his special address highlighted that major reforms which are providing big opportunity to farmers are E platforms, aggregation of institutions, direct delivery by farmers, linking production to processes through contract farming. He suggested that additional export of around one third increase in total agriculture production is required to create balance in domestic market. To promote this, more people need to join agriculture export business, ensure innovations and states shall avoid imitate of different models. The levelling and tracing bill is another important step to harness agri export market. He appreciated that all government institutions are aggressively promoting agriculture sector and an attractive package to promote agri export will come soon. He highlighted that competition is great deliverable and it is required in agri sector, as it was seen in aviation and telecom sector.

Vijay Kumar, Managing Director & CEO, National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) in his concluding remarks mentioned that as things look for the global economy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agriculture industry is poised for recovery. The recent measures announced by government will collectively herald a new dawn for the agriculture sector in India and show the government’s commitment to championing the cause of ensuring the welfare and sustainability of livelihoods for the farmers of India.

Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHDCCI highlighted that it was strongly believed that the agriculture sector would attract much more and substantial investments going forward. Also, the investments would cover across the range of innovative products and services in the agriculture supply chain, as more and more entrepreneurs take a plunge to develop newer technologies despite all odds and uncertainties in the agriculture sector in India.

BK Sabharwal, Chairman, Capital Market & Commodity Market Committee, PHDCCI in his opening address highlighted that recently, Prime Minister launched financing facility of Rs. 1 lakh crore under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. It is right to say that farmers are now ready to be entrepreneurs in line with the vision of doubling farmers’ income of Prime Minister by 2022.

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