Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing
The transformation of Indian Agriculture from an importer of food grain in the early 20th century to a major exporter of food grains now is because of the contribution of dedication of agricultural scientist, continuous attempts of policy makers and the determination of farmers. However, the marketing systems and post-harvest marketing infrastructure have not been able to keep pace with the growing production and marketable surplus. This has brought to the fore, the need for providing farmers with access to competitive markets with adequate infrastructure including cold chain logistics, to enable them to realize better prices on the one hand and providing nutritious food to consumers at stable and affordable prices on the other. Hence, the Government of India on 13th November, 2013 approved the proposal of Department of Agriculture & Cooperation for continuation and integration of on-going Central Sector Schemes as Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM) during the XII Plan (2012-2017).
The ISAM will have the following five sub schemes:
(i) Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI)
The agricultural marketing sector requires strengthening of supply chain through investments in infrastructure for value addition to agricultural produce, reduction in post-harvest losses, etc. A network of scientifically constructed storage infrastructure will help farmers avoid distress sale of their produce by availing marketing credit through pledge financing and also reduce quantitative and qualitative post-harvest losses.
(ii) Marketing Research and Information Network (MRIN)
The availability and dissemination of complete and accurate marketing information is key to achieve both operational and pricing efficiency in the marketing system.
(iii) Strengthening of Agmark Grading Facilities (SAGF)
Grade Standards provide a common language for trade among growers, traders, processors etc. They provide a basis for incentive payment rewarding better quality. Farmers get prices commensurate with the quality produced by them. Grade standards help in electronic trading and issue of Negotiable Warehouse Receipt.
(iv) Agribusiness Development (ABD) through Venture Capital Assistance (VCA) and Project Development Facility (PDF)
Agribusiness entrepreneurs are generally first generation who have business skills but their financial resources are limited for setting up units at the farm gate with backward linkages. In order to facilitate agribusiness development in the country SFAC venture capital sub scheme will:
a. Assist agripreneurs to make investments in setting up agribusiness projects through financial participation
b. Provide financial support for preparation of bankable Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) through Project Development Facility (PDF).
(v) Choudhary Charan Singh National Institute of Agriculture Marketing (NIAM).
The main endeavour of the subscheme, through capacity building, conducting training, consulting solutions, education and policy advocacy, will be to escalate the agricultural marketing system in the country to a level where it can go hand in hand with the production and market sentiments.