VijayNagar Biotech Industries CEO and CII Vizag zone chairman D.T. Raju on Friday said a comprehensive strategy was required to increase earnings of small farmers.
At a panel discussion on business working for small farmer welfare at the AP AgTech Summit here, he in response to a query by a farmer admitted that most of the coconut farmers get only Rs. 4 or Rs. 5 while it was being sold in the retail market for Rs. 20 per piece.
Admitting that middlemen were cornering a lot in between, Mr. Raju pointed out how they were offering Rs. 13 per coconut for large-scale procurement from the fields to process them at their factory in Vizianagaram district to produce health-friendly edible oil and powder.
He said officials should address issues like soil erosion, storage, marketing, finance and crop insurance and suggested the development of an ecosystem with rural service providers.
A market chain, compost yards, warehouses and cold storage facility were the need of the hour, he said.
Mr. Raju said 85% of small farmers were contributing around 45% of cultivable land and producing 50% of India’s produce.
He said 15% of large farmers were using landless poor for farming by sub-leasing.
The session was chaired by Niti Aayog Advisor on Agriculture J.P. Mishra. Among others, Srinivasu Pappula, Global Head of Digital Farming, Initiatives Group, TCS, CEO of Sresta Nautral Bio Products and R.G. Chandramogan, Managing Director, Hatsun Agro Products took part.
Discussion on emerging trends in market linkage models, which were transforming the way small and marginal farmers figured at a breakout session on ‘farm to fork-creating market linkages.’
COO of NCDEX e Markets Ravindra Shevade chaired the session. Among others, Richard Hawkins, Director, ICRA, Ashwin Mahavadi, founder and CEO of Krishyog and Varun Khurana, co-founder and CEO of Crofarm spoke.