NEW DELHI: Seeking to connect farmers with agri markets in a hassle-free and cost-effective manner, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked central ministers to harness technology and explore innovative solutions like using ‘truck aggregators’ on the lines of app based cab services (such as Uber and Ola) to ensure smooth movement of farm produce.
This kind of aggregators are expected to help farmers in transporting their farm produce from farm gate or registered warehouses to desired ‘mandis’ without going out or spending additional amount on logistics.
Modi’s suggestions came during his interaction with Union ministers via video conference.
Though India has a few truck aggregators, they are not popular among farmers who still have to depend on local operators’ terms and conditions for transporting their farm produce. Lack of competition on this front makes it difficult for farmers to arrange for logistics, specifically to transport their produce to mandis. Even traders of farm produce face difficulties during intra-state or inter-state trade.
The Centre had last week tried to minimise such hassle a bit by launching news features at its national agriculture market portal (e-NAM).
The e-NAM provides a database of individual transporters to the traders. Under newly launched features, the traders would now be able to use the link to navigate to the logistics providers’ website and select appropriate services to deliver farm produce at desired location. More than 3,75,000 trucks from large logistic providers would be added for logistic purpose.
Referring to issue of farmers welfare where he emphasised that his government would provide all possible help to farmers in the ongoing harvest season which coincides with the lockdown period, the Prime Minister also underlined the need to devise a strategy to ensure procurement of tribal products so that the source of income of indigeneous tribal populace remains intact.
Stating that lockdown measures and social distancing must go hand in hand, Prime Minister said during his interaction with ministers that it was “essential to strategize for the emergent conditions once lockdown ends”.
He asked the ministers to prepare a “list of ten major decisions and ten priority areas of focus” once lockdown ends, while exhorting them to identify and implement pending reforms in their respective ministries.
“While mentioning that due to the emergent challenges, the country needs to lessen its dependence on other nations, he (Modi) asked all departments to maintain an objective index on how their work will promote Make in India,” said a government statement.