Trends in agriculture in 2019

Price Control: The fluctuating prices for key crops such as tomato, potato and onion (TOP) has resulted in the government announcing ₹500 crores for initiating Operation Green. It aims to stabilise the demand- supply situation for these crops and promote initiatives to control disparity. The situation requires fundamental changes beginning from crop variety selection (table variety v/s processing varieties), procurement mechanism, post-harvest handling and storage, processing of produce, market development, logistics services and distribution However, it remains to be seen how it will impact an average farmer. Take the example of tomato, India produces around 19 million tonnes of tomato every year. Leading producing states like Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh which contribute to around 30% of the total production of India should innovate on implementation of these solutions. Another important aspect which needs to be considered is the development of large scale infrastructure to support the mass storage and movement of perishable items. Currently the cold chain network is highly disaggregated and operates on thin margins. Technology innovation for implementing low cost and durable multimodal solutions is one of the key challenges here.

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