Q Agriculture marketing is a key driver of the agriculture sector in present times. In this context, discuss the role that the Integrated Scheme for Agriculture Marketing can play in strengthening agriculture marketing in India.
• Define agricultural marketing.
• Briefly highlight the significance of agricultural marketing.
• Discuss the role played by Integrated Scheme for Agriculture Marketing in strengthening
agriculture marketing in India.
• Conclude on the basis of above points.
Agricultural Marketing includes all the activities, agencies and policies involved in the procurement of farm inputs by the farmers and the movement of agricultural products from the farms to the consumers. It plays the following important roles:
• Optimization of resource use and output management: Efficient marketing leads to scaling down the losses arising out of inefficient processing, storage and transportation.
• Increase in farm income: It reduces the number of middlemen and restricts the commission on marketing services. An assured market for surplus induces farmers to raise their productivity.
• Growth of agro-based industry: Consistent and sufficient supply of raw materials helps in development of processing industries.
• Adoption and spread of new technology: Adoption of scientific knowledge requires higher investment and farmers would invest only if they are assured of market accessibility.
• Employment: Employment is created for millions of persons engaged in various activities, such as packaging, transportation, storage and processing.
However, the status of agricultural marketing in India is marred by neglect of rural markets, limited access and marketing infrastructure to agricultural produce markets (APMCs). Around 40 per cent of all fruits and vegetables are wasted annually, indicating the need to strengthen agricultural marketing in India. In this context, the Integrated Scheme for Agriculture Marketing (ISAM) can play a crucial role in strengthening agricultural marketing in the following ways:
• Establish Integrated Value Chains to provide vertical integration of farmers with primary processors, especially in the rural markets.
• Promote creation of scientific storage capacity for storing farm produce, processed farm produce and agricultural inputs etc. to reduce post-harvest and handling losses.
• Establish a nation-wide information network system for speedy collection and dissemination of market information and data on arrivals and prices for its efficient and timely utilisation by farmers and other stakeholders.
• Catalyse private investment to set up agribusiness projects through Venture Capital Assistance (VCA) and Project Development Facility (PDF) and thereby provide an assured market to producers and strengthen backward linkages of agriculture projects with producers and their groups.
• Conduct training, research and consultancy through Choudhary Charan Singh National Institute of Agriculture Marketing (NIAM).
Stricter implementation of ISAM will improve agricultural marketing in India and aid in stimulating production and consumption as well as accelerating the pace of economic development.