‘Contract farming will pull farmers out of poverty’

By Express News Service
MUMBAI: Asserting that the root cause of farmers’ poverty was the availability of limited markets, Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat, who is on the four-member panel set up by the SC, says the “new agri laws will open new avenues to farmers”.

“Farmers will be able to see their produce in the open market as well as agriculture produce market committees. In Maharashtra, the farmers have been following this practice for the last 10 years. This should be replicated across India. If the produces are purchased at the farmers’ doorsteps, it will help reduce the market management cost that’s generally recovered from the farmers only,” he told this newspaper.

Batting for open market, Ghanwat said contract with corporates will not only help the farmers get a good price for their produce but also plant advanced crops as per the market requirement. “Traditional farming is not giving enough yield or return. Once the farmers start sowing as per the market demand, they will get good money. It will pull them out of poverty,” he said.

He would try and convince the farmers about the benefits of the new laws. “The Punjab and Haryana farmers feel income at APMC is assured and hence, do not want to follow a new path. They should see the farmers from Maharashtra, who’re making tremendous progress in horticulture and open farming.” On the claim that the panel was pro-government, Ghanwat said he was “pro-farmers” and only wanted to protect their interest. “The panel has been constituted by the SC, not by any party,” he said.