Pema Khandu flags middlemen menace in farm sector

GUWAHATI: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu attended the first sitting of the High Powered Committee of Chief Ministers for Transformation of Indian Agriculture here at NITI Aayog and highlighted middlemen menace farm sector in the frontier hill state.

Speaking during the meeting, Khandu stressed on the need for doing away with the middlemen menace in Arunachal where local farm and horticulture produces are bought at throwaway prices but sold at higher prices outside the state.

Chief Minister said to help farmers to have proper access to markets, the state government has enacted the Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing Act 2018. 

Taking part in the discussion jointly chaired by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Chief Minister said high priority had been given to development of Agriculture and allied sector in Arunachal by earmarking maximum funds available for this sector in the Arunachal Budget 2018. “ In order to end the intermediaries in sale of farm produce, the budget has also allocated funds for construction of wholesale market-cum-auction centres across the state, which will be linked with e-NAM so that produce can be sold online,” informed the Chief Minister. 

Highlighting on other challenges faced, Chief Minister said since Arunachal was a late starter in agriculture and horticulture sector, it would require continuous support from the Centre particularly in identifying state-specific farm produces and varieties that can be exported. He specifically urged the Centre to assist the state in helping to identify the varieties of exportable species of orchids, flowers and horticulture crops.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani also attended the discussion. Earlier Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath deliberated his views through video conferencing. 

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