16 AUG,2020 | MEDC
The government has done well by creating a new agri-infrastructure fund of Rs. 1 trillion, to be disbursed over the next four years. Its primary significance lies in its need-driven objective of enhancing agricultural infrastructure to cut down post-harvest losses, generate employment, and boost farmers’ incomes. Maybe more should have been allocated for the purpose, but the move is certainly in the right direction. India lags the world considerably in agricultural storage facilities leading to huge wastage of produce, and it is heartening to know that preference would be given to setting up cold chains, silos, ripening chambers, and electronic marketing services. All this has not come a day too soon. India’s economy has to be turned around at the earliest from the deadly impact of the pandemic, and the development of a robust agricultural sector will play a key role in it. Until agriculture becomes more financially remunerative for the smaller players, one cannot expect it to retain talented people. Despite all the progress made, agriculture continues to need relatively strong handholding by the government.
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