21 Sep New laws to nudge corporates to engage with farmers directly: Palat Vijayaraghavan
KOCHI: The passage of big-ticket farm bills of the government will give fresh impetus to many corporates which are looking to engage directly with farmers, said Palat Vijayaraghavan, founder & CEO, Lawrencedale Agro Processing (LEAF), a fresh farm produce supply chain company.
“The responsibilities lie with corporates like us to ensure that we take along all stakeholders and ensure that the tide rises for all in a village economy. The success of LEAF during the past decade has been this premise and it is time all of us work towards a better life for millions of farmers,” he said in a statement.
“The Indian agriculture system traditionally has been caught in the problems of lowproductivity. We, as a nation, have been attempting through various measures to solve this problem due to fragmented small land holdings and how we can bring stability to the lives of farmers. There has been progress, but a major part of the bridge is yet to be crossed,” Vijayaraghavan said, adding, the ongoing discussions on the three Bills related to reforms in Indian agriculture is an aspect which should be understood with a clear sense on how we need to work to bring about further changes. There are three elements – the aspect of mandis, multiple intermediaries and increased leverage of corporates.
He said the new reforms basically empower farmers to directly sell the produce to buyers – be it large corporates or the kirana shop round the corner, without going through the mandi or through the intermediary. “It is not that the mandi and intermediaries are getting banned or made illegal where they just vanish overnight. But with the new Bills, can farmer lives change for the better? Certainly yes.” But as stakeholders in the agriculture ecosystem how can we take along mandis and intermediaries without them losing their livelihoods? The answer lies in transparency.
“We need to provide a sense of responsibility to mandi operators and regularise mandis and intermediaries. We need to sensitise them on the importance of transparency in the agriculture supply chain and empower them to play a positive role,” the LEAF CEO added.