Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) in association with Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) organized a conference on Agriculture Market – Setting New Development Agenda on 10 October 2014 in Kochi. NABARD was the main sponsor of the event. Mr. N Ramesh, General Manager NABARD introduced the theme. Dr. Ramesh Chand, Deputy Director General at Indian Council for Agricultural Research, New Delhi delivered the keynote address. The context of Dr. Chand’s talk was on the issues faced by agricultural markets in India. For him markets should be able to signal producers on changes that happen around him. Agriculture markets should be able to contribute to growth and social welfare. However, the present situation in India reflects continuing threats. This starts with questions on safe food, processed food, price centric policies, and issues with Minimum Support Prices. These policies tend to cause severe impact on prices and also distort the role of private sector. The need of the hour was to allow stakeholders to explore the deep potentials held by the sector. For this Dr. Chand says that a competitive market would be the best option. Participation of the public and the private sector should ease the way forward.
The key note address was followed by a panel discussion. The two key panellists spoke about their experiences in agriculture. Mr. Philipgi T Kanatt, of Tellusgreen Centre for Sustainable Living, and Mr. Alex Thomas, Founder M.D. of Tierra Foods India Pvt. Ltd shared their different experiences with marketing agriculture. Mr. David Mooken, Past Chairman, FICCI Kerala State Council concentrated on the prevailing trends of agricultural market in Kerala; Mr. Savio Mathew, Head, FICCI Kerala State Council introduced the speakers and Mr. Rahul V. Kumar, Research Consultant, Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), Kochi focused on the need for further research initiatives in agriculture sector and CPPR’s broadening research interests in the agricultural sector.
– Private sector should exist in the agriculture sector
– Farmers need to understand the signals in the market and the markets need to adapt to the changing trends of the consumers
– A market where Minimum Support Price (MSP) exists is ideal state