Centre to seek feedback on draft farm export policy

9:54 AM, Monday, January 22nd, 2018
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campcoMangaluru: Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu said on Sunday that the draft of the agricultural export policy proposed by the government was ready and would be uploaded on the ministry’s website soon for comments from people.

He was speaking after inaugurating the new amenity building of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd. (Campco) on the premises of its chocolate factory. He said the draft has aimed at boosting shipments of agricultural products by identifying niche products and new markets. It has focused on value addition and reduction of wastage through pre- and post-harvest interventions.

According to the Minister, the proposed policy will help in promoting farm clusters like the ones for industry.

Mr. Prabhu said that import of commodities has affected farmers, including rubber growers, and the government intends to bring out a policy to help the latter. “We will see how to improve the condition of rubber growers through a policy,” he said. He also said the government had begun working out a policy on spices.

Lauding Campco for “protecting the interests of farmers”, the Minister said such cooperative institutions were needed in the country. He said the setting up of Campco-like bodies would help in doubling the income of farmers. Cooperative institutions should act as a medium to bring the benefits of global market and economy to farmers, he said.

More cooperatives in the agro-processing sector are needed, he added.

Jyotindra Bhai Mehta, president of Sahakara Bharati, said there was a need to set up a chamber of commerce for agriculture in the country. There is also a need to bring out a policy to provide price stability on farm produce, he said.

T. Shakuntala Shetty, MLA for Puttur, launched a premium assorted gift box of Campco chocolate with four variants of pure chocolate — Dietier-Dark, which is a sugar free chocolate; Milk Marvel Milk Chocolate, a cocoa butter-based pure milk chocolate; Milk n Milk White Chocolate, also a cocoa butter-based chocolate with rice crispies; and Funtan Dark Chocolate, which has high cocoa butter.

The gift pack has two bars each of Funtan Dark Chocolate and Milk Marvel Milk Chocolate and one bar each of Dietier-Dark and Milk n Milk White Chocolate. The pack is priced at ₹500. An individual bar costs ₹100.

The foundation stone for building a new warehouse of the cooperative in Kavu was also laid on the occasion. A bust of Varanashi Subraya Bhat, the founder of Campco, was unveiled.

Campco has plans to procure cashew and coconut from farmers, according to its president S.R. Satishchandra. He said as of now the cooperative currently procures arecanut, cocoa, pepper and rubber from farmers.

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