The 11-point measures announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman including the three governance and administrative reforms concerning farmers and agriculture sector, has been welcomed by industry veterans and analysts, who say these will open a new chapter. Sanjiv Puri, chairman, ITC Ltd., said, “It is heartening to see the reforms announced for the agri sector that provides livelihoods to about half of India’s workforce. Amendments to the ECA, reforms in agricultural marketing and risk mitigation through predictable prices will empower farmers, strengthen agri-food processing linkages and enable demand-driven value added agriculture.”“The reforms will encourage investments in food processing and together with the infrastructure outlays will contribute in shaping a competitive agri value chain, reduce wastages and raise farmer incomes,” Mr. Puri said. Amith Agarwal, co-founder and CEO, AgriBazaar, an agritech marketplace, said “The announcement of ₹1 lakh crore agri-infrastructure fund for farmgate infrastructure will significantly contribute towards mitigating post-harvest losses and wastage by giving a fillip to scientific storage facilities and also help the small farmers earn additional income by way of value-added agri-produce.According to Anand Ramanathan, partner, Deloitte India, the announcements regarding food, fishery and animal husbandry will have positive impact on the food processing sector.“The removal of cereals from essential commodities, the agricultural marketing policy changes being made to facilitate direct sale to aggregators, and the assistance being provided to enhance food processing and post harvest infrastructure in proximity to farm gates are excellent formulations which will help farmers,” he added. Atul Mehra, chairman, Tasty Dairy Specialities Ltd., and co-chairman — CII National Committee on Allied Sectors in Agriculture- Dairy, Fisheries and Poultry said, “The reformed measures are much needed and were long standing request from the industry. The reforms will help India go to the next level.”
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