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Experts all for Contract Farming, Intercropping to Achieve Self Sufficiency in Edible Oils

25 Sep 2020 9:37 pm
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Indore Commodities Control - Highlighting the prospect of contract farming in the edible oil self sufficiency, Dr. P. Chandrashekhar, Director General, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing here on Friday said that under contract farming the Farmer Producers Organization (FPOs) would have the benefit of agreed price for agricultural produce, its timely supply and control over the quantity and quality for its marketing.

Addressing a technical session on the `Role of extension functionaries and prospects of contract farming in edible oil self sufficiency’ on the third day of National Oilseeds Brainstorming meet, Dr Chandrashekhar said contract farming would further boost agricultural production including oilseeds in light of recently launched Agriculture Infrastructure Fund which would help the FPOs with minimum number of 1000 farmers.

Dr. Chintala Govinda Rajulu, Chairman, National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) while informing about the functioning of nearly 8000 registered FPOs comprising mostly small and marginal farmers, asked the farmers’ association and FPOs to get the benefits of the provisions by joining contract farming.

Dr S.K. Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner, DAC&FW, Govt. of India, while informing about the highest ever increase in soybean area crop during kharif 2020, briefed the delegates about the new initiatives being taken up by government of India related to zone-wise, as well as micro planning of oilseed crops and areas across the country along with rabi campaign for promotion of oilseed crop.

Dr. Malhotra suggested identifying low productivity districts under oilseeds which may be worked upon by strengthening the technology dissemination/delivery mechanisms for improvement in productivity. Many experts suggested shifting the area available under rice-fallow/rice-wheat cropping system in Punjab towards cultivation of oilseed crops.

Dr. Nita Khandekar, Director, ICAR-IISR emphasized on discouraging age old varieties and initiating action for their denotification facilitating promotion of recently released improved varieties. All the ATARIs highlighted the need for promotion of formal and informal seed systems of oilseed crops to ensure quality seed production of most preferred varieties at local level for achieving the self-sufficiency in oilseeds.

All the ATARIs agreed for expansion in the area of oilseeds through intercropping with respective traditional crops which may establish these oilseeds in the overall cropping systems.

Dr. Haresh Vyas, Chairman, Solvent Extractors Association said that due to stagnation in productivity of oilseeds, the farmers are slowly getting alienated from oilseeds. According to him, minimum support price (MSP) is a short term solution whereas the enhancement of productivity should be a long term goal.

D.N. Pathak, Executive Director, SOPA, flayed the role of state extension agencies for their poor performance in delivering the technologies / knowledge to the farmers.

During the deliberations, experts also suggested making use of biotechnological tools for development of varieties for specific traits particularly suitable in changing climate scenarios, promotion of good agricultural practices, protocol for organic oilseed production etc in order to make the country self-sufficient in edible oil and export oriented.

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