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A leading farm educationist has said that the Government should draw up a robust pricing policy for agriculture produce.

Dr B. T. Pujari, Dean (Agriculture), University of Agriculture Sciences, Raichur, said crop holidays is a dangerous trend and the Government should ensure proper pricing policy for farm produce. He said stabilisation of the market is a crucial factor for sustainable agriculture.

Dr Pujari was speaking at the ‘Hedgers and Prospective Hedgers Awareness and Education Seminar on Agriculture Business and Commodities Price Risk Management’ jointly organised by The Hindu Business Line, National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hyderabad, Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and State Bank of Mysore, here on Friday.

Dr Pujari said to ensure food security to the ever-growing population, it has become imperative for the Government to tread cautiously on its EXIM policy as far as agriculture commodities are concerned.

EXPORT, IMPORT POLICIESHe said the export and import policies of the agriculture commodities should be under the Agriculture Ministry, and the import and export of agriculture commodities should be based on supply and demand.

Lauding the intervention of the NCDEX in the market in Gulbarga in the past two years, Dr Pujari said the entry of NCDEX in the market has helped stabilise the prices of red gram .

G. Chandrasekhar of The Hindu Business Line in his presentation stressed the importance of achieving at least 4 per cent growth in the agriculture sector to achieve 9 per cent GDP growth during the 12th Plan period.

“We will not be able to lift the people out of poverty unless we achieve a 4 per cent growth in agriculture sector….our growth in agriculture field had remained constant at 2.5 per cent, which was not sufficient to push the country forward in the path of development.”

He blamed the lopsided policies for the slow growth rate of agriculture sector and said the present policies are not growth oriented and do not give stress on agriculture development, irrigation development and improving rural infrastructures.

He said agriculture should become a source of strength and not a burden and planners should use the information technology, biotechnology, nuclear technology and nano technology to help agriculture to achieve the much-desired growth rate. The Deputy Manager of NCDEX, Deepak Sayana, in his presentation, gave an insight into the functioning of the spot, future and forward markets, and how it helps farmers get better prices for their produce.

The business in the agriculture futures market has witnessed a record growth from Rs 5.71 lakh crore in 2004 to Rs 119.48 lakh crore in 2010-11.

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