Agriculture secretary AK Singh (second from left) with his industry counterpart AP Singh (centre) at the workshop in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Aug. 17: The state government is planning to introduce contract farming to bring corporate houses and farmers together, one of the talking points today at a workshop for prospective investors on agro and food processing.
Agriculture secretary Arun Kumar Singh said that much needed to be done for self-reliance although Jharkhand proved to be a food surplus state last year.
“We are going through documents pertaining to current practices of contract farming. If things go according to plan, it would be introduced in near future,” Singh said.
According to the Central Model Act, contract farming is an “agreement” between processing/marketing firms, market intermediaries and farmers for production and support of agricultural products.
The participants at the meet organised by the industries department discussed a proposed vision document on agro and food processing that is being prepared by Jharkhand Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited — a joint venture of IL&FS and the state government.
Singh gave an outline of the potential of the agri sector in Jharkhand in the field of cash crops such as tamarind, chirounji, mahua, jackfruit and custard apple, apart from kharif and rabi crops.
IL&FS officials gave a presentation on a draft Vision 2020: Agribusiness & food processing in Jharkhand. However, the draft was not up to the mark and needed corrections, industry secretary A.P. Singh said, asking the consultant to incorporate latest data.
The participants, mostly prospective investors in food processing, lamented the bureaucratic red tape.
“I applied for a food processing unit in Bihar and got clearance swiftly. But here, one needs to visit many government offices including industry, pollution and other departments,” said a trader from Kumardhubi, Dhanbad.
Chief minister Arjun Munda could not attend the meet due to health reasons.