Business Bureau: THE Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) has written to the high-powered committee of chief ministers on the transformation for Indian agriculture seeking its recommendation to the Centre to come out with a national policy on agriculture as 50 per cent of the countrys population depends on it. The FSII has also, among others, requested the committee to speed up the regulatory process for using biotechnology for crop yield and increased production.
“We submitted suggestions to the Committee. There should be a national e-policy on agriculture which is acceptable to all all states, political parties and then the Centre. Currently, we do not have an alignment among all the stakeholders. So we need a policy on agriculture. Another issue is that there should be an emphasis on research to prove the quality of seeds, agronomic practices, and there should be a science and technology-based agriculture to provide solutions, director-general of FSII Ram Kaundhinya said. For transformation of the agriculture sector and raising farmers income, the body suggested that the Government abolish the minimum support price (MSP) system.
“In order to promote agri-exports, apart from creating infrastructure, the Government needs to stop intervening in the agri-output markets. The MSP system has its drawbacks, the MSPs are way above the international prices. Even though the MSPs are set, majority of the time the farmer gets only the market price. The MSP is only distorting the market and not benefiting anyone.It is in fact rewarding inefficiencies. The Government needs to move away from MSP and subsidies and instead pay for the options premium, the letter said.
The FSII further suggested withdrawal of the cotton seed price control order and said the Government should not interfere in the pricing of agricultural inputs especially seeds and leave the pricing to be determined by open markets and this framework is to be put in place for any new biotech traits to be brought into the market. Kaundinya said it has been suggested to the Telangana Government to set up a ‘seed export zone’ as the region offers climatic support for better output.