A future food hub?

Orissa government gives contract farming green light

Published: Monday 15 May 2006

on april10, 2006, the Orissa Assembly gave its consent for contract farming in the state. This was to comply with the Centre's April 2005 ultimatum for amending its agricultural marketing act on the lines of model legislation -- the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act 2003, formulated by the Centre. With the passage of the Orissa Agricultural Produce Markets (Amendment) Bill, 2005, private companies can now establish markets in the state and make massive investments for development of alternative marketing infrastructure and supporting services for better marketing the agricultural produce of farmers.

Presenting the bill for approval before the House, state co-operation minister Surama Padhy said the main features of contract farming were that selected crops would be grown by farmers under a buy back agreement with an agency engaged in trading or processing of such produce. Agribusiness tycoons such as Indian Tobbaco Company and Bharti Farm Fresh have already shown their interest in entering into contract farming in the state.

Orissa is the third largest producer of vegetables in India and has been a major area under plantation crops. This feature has made the state an attractive destination for industry. Besides, the well-connected seaport and airport in the state will also help make the state a hub for processed food.

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