Minister wants foreign investment in Indian farm sector

October 6th, 2008 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Food processing minister Subodh Kant Sahai is all for foreign investment in agriculture.“If the state government cannot provide enough support to farmers, let them promote third-party investors in farming, specifically foreign investors,” the minister told reporters on the sidelines of a business meet here Monday.

“The country needs huge investment in order to realise the full potential of this sector, and state governments must allow foreign investment in agriculture and encourage contract farming,” Sahai said.

Interacting with the media at the International FoodTec 2008, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers Of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), he said: “There are many states which are blocking efforts by companies to source farm produce and sell them.”

Sahai said though agriculture was “the next sunrise sector in India”, fragmented holding and farming could not provide economic sustainability to farmers.

“If the farmer can’t invest in seeds, harvesting technology and water management, we should allow a third party to invest.

“Let farmers profit and consumers benefit. Unless agriculture is market-driven, farmers will not get any advantage. Promoting contract farming and third-party investment will allow farmers to get the fair share of profits generated by this sector,” the minister said.

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