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Indian agriculture now a surplus sector, must think about diversification, says Niti Aayog

Updated : June 17, 2019 10:12 PM IST

All states are on board to recast Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee Act (APMC), said Niti Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar.

These are rules that essentially govern the sale of agricultural produce and the central government is pushing to keep fruits and vegetables out of its ambit to facilitate inter-state trade.

Kumar told that CNBC-TV18 that Essential Commodities Act will also be modified but won't be repealed. Disaster management rules on drought will also be amended, he added.

“The situation in agriculture has now completely transformed and Indian agriculture has emerged as a surplus sector, we are producing more than what we can consume and now having come there we need to think very seriously about further diversification in agriculture. We also have to seriously think about more value addition, setting up more value chains,” he said.

He added: “We have to give farmers to sell their product wherever they like and making the entire country a unified market in agriculture.”

He also assured that that all the chief ministers have now agreed, and they have conveyed their decision to replace APMC Act with agricultural produce and livestock marketing (APLM) Act.

With regards to Essential Commodities Act, there is a decision to discuss further as to how it cannot be repealed right away but it can be modified to make it less draconian for the traders. Traders will not have to be in the loop for exportable surpluses, said Kumar.

“Niti Aayog has worked on Essential Commodities Act on the APLM Act and also on Model Tenancy Law, “said Kumar.
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