BANGALORE: A one-day workshop on newer methods of marketing where farmers can get better prices was organised by the Department of Business Management of the University of Agricultural Sciences at its campus here on Saturday.
Experts at the workshop on ‘Linking Farmers to Markets’ discussed methods to improve marketing of agricultural produce.
Additional Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Manoj Rajan, said, “ As of now, there are three regulated markets for farmers in Chamrajanagar, Arsikere and Tiptur and they have shown great improvement in farmers’ incomes.
“By next month there will be 10 regulated markets in the state in Gulbarga, Bidar, Sedam, Yadagir, Raichur, Bijapur, Chitradurga, Tumkur and other places. By September, there will be 30 to 35 such markets. Copra prices have gone up by 120 per cent in markets in Karnataka and arrivals have gone up in the market in Tiptur. These are encouraging results,” he said.
P G Chengappa, Professor and former Vice-Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore said, “Indian agriculture used to be a supply-driven one, but now it is demand-driven. Between 2000 and 2010, consumption of cereals has decreased by 9 per cent whereas consumption of livestock products and milk products has increased.”
“Youths are not attracted to agriculture. Let us attract them to the agri-business. Many are pursuing part-time farming in a big way today,” he added.
He agreed that increased growth rate of agriculture must include small and marginal farmers. Producers, if empowered with knowledge, information and capability can market their products well, he opined.
Gopal Naik, Professor and Director Centre for Policy Research, Indian Institute for Management said, “ A good grading system for agricultural produce can streamline agri-marketing.”
UAS Vice-Chancellor Narayana Gowda said, “Farmers expect good price for their produce. In all agricultural enterprises, only 1 per cent is the farmers’ share from consumers. This must be changed and farmers must get a larger share.”
Prof M S Jayaram, Head of the Department of Agricultural Marketing, Co-operation and Business Management, GKVK, said, “We have provided training to a hundred farmers in packaging Alphonso and Raspuri mangoes and selling them at selected eight centres in the city such as the gates of Cubbon Park, IT Board etc. The better presentation fetches them a price of `100 for a box of Alphonsoes which is three times what they get in the market.”