CM for ending ‘middlemen menace’ in Arunachal

ITANAGAR, Jul 18: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday attended the first sitting of the High Powered Committee of Chief Ministers for Transformation of Indian Agriculture at NITI Aayog, New Delhi.

Speaking during the meeting, the Chief Minister stressed on the need for doing away with the ‘middlemen menace’ in Arunachal where local farm and horticulture produces are bought at throwaway prices but sold at higher prices outside the state.

The Chief Minister informed that to help the farmers to have proper access to markets, the state government has enacted the Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing Act 2018.

Taking part in the discussion during the meet jointly chaired by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Khandu said high priority has been given to development of agriculture and allied sector in Arunachal by earmarking maximum funds for this sector in the state Budget 2018.

To end the intermediaries in sale of farm produce, the budget has also allocated funds for construction of wholesale market-cum-auction centres across the state, which will be linked with e-NAM so that produce can be sold online, informed the Chief Minister.

Highlighting on other challenges faced, the Chief Minister said since Arunachal is a late starter in agriculture and horticulture sector, it will require continuous support from the Centre particularly in identifying state specific farm produces and varieties that can be exported.

He specifically urged the Centre to assist the state in helping to identify the varieties of exportable species of orchids, flowers and horticulture crops.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani also attended the meeting. Earlier Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath shared his views through video conferencing.

The High-Powered Committee of Chief Ministers for Transformation of Indian Agriculture, formed following a directive from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the recently held NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting, held its first meeting today to lay out a comprehensive time-bound roadmap for implementation of agriculture reforms by states. The Devendra Fadnavis-led nine-member Committee will be submitting its report in two months’ time.