amira foods

FOOD TO FORK amira natural foods

perishable commodities like fruits,

vegetables, milk, eggs, meat and

fish need massive investment in

logistics and institutional engineering

that can connect millions of small holders

with organized agri-processors, retailers

and exporters to improve supply

and affordabilit says Mr. Ashok Gulati,

Chairman, Commission for Agricultural

Costs and Prices (CACP) should be

amended to make it more farmer

friendly.

"Fruits and vegetables should imme

diately be removed from the Agriculture

Produce Market Committee Act.

This will soften prices of these perishable

commodities. Madhya Pradesh

has already done this. Moreover, retailers

and food processors should directly

connect with farmer groups for sourcing

farm products to doaway with intermediary

expenses," he added. In his

viev the government should offer 50%

subsidyfor setting up cold chains in rural

areas and promote use of solar energy

to run these chains.

"Our food processing levels are less

than 5% of fruits and vegetables compared

to several south-east Asian countries

that hover between 30°Io and 70°Io.

But this is not easy. We need to focus

heavily on creating rural infrastructure

and forming en-masse farmer groups in

collaboration with NGOs, self help

groups, agric-processors, modern retailers

and agri-exporters for direct market

linkage. Besides, the government

should allow duty free import of agriprocessing

machines and other incentives

to promote food processing industries,"

he said.