Devendra Fadnavis to head farm panel

The Narendra Modi government announced the constitution of a high-powered committee of chief ministers to suggest ways to transform agriculture and raise farmers’ income. The panel would be headed by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Official sources said that the committee will submit its report within two months of the date of its notification. The panel will be serviced by Niti Aayog with its member Ramesh Chand as its member secretary. The panel will suggest policy measures to boost agricultural export raise growth in food processing and attract investments in modern market infrastructure, value chains and logistics.

Apart from discussing agricultural reforms and raising farmers’ income, the committee will also examine provisions of Essential Commodity Act (ECA), 1955, and the situations that require the use of the ECA. It will also suggest changes in the ECA to attract private investments in agricultural marketing and infrastructure.

The decision to set up a high-level panel of chief ministers on agricultural reforms was takend during the meeting of Niti Aayog’s governing council on June 15 that was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Apart from Fadnavis (who is the convenor), other members of the agricultural reforms panel are H.D. Kumaraswamy (chief minister of Karnataka), Manohar Lal Khattar (chief minister of Haryana), Pema Khandu (chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh), Vijay Rupani (chief minister of Gujarat), Yogi Adityanath (chief minister of Uttar Pradesh), Kamal Nath (chief minister of Madhya Pradesh) and Narendra Singh Tomar, Union minister of agriculture and rural development.

The panel will also recommend measures for linking of market reforms with e-NAM, GRAM and other relevant Centrally-sponsored schemes. The Fadnavis panel will also recommend ways to upgrade agri-technology to global standards and improve access of farmers to quality seed, plant propagation material and farm machinery in agriculturally advance countries.

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