Mysore Royal Academy School of Business (MYRA) organised a seminar on the `Changing Structure of Agricultural Marketing in Karnataka’ at its school premises. The agriculture sector is highly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of nature on the one hand, and on the other hand, it is unfortunately exposed to the current weaknesses of the agricultural marketing system. While we are not capable of changing the monsoon, we can definitely change the markets, agreed experts in the field.
Prof T N Prakash Kammardi, Chairman, Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission, Government of Karnataka, Manoj Rajan, IFS, Additional Secretary, Government of Karnataka, MD and CEO, ReMSL, Prof S Bisaliah, former Vice Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences and Former Chairman, Karnataka Agricultural Prices Commission participated in the seminar.
The speakers agreed that the scenario is so pathetic from the farmers’ point of view that they are totally ignorant and unaware of the price they could fetch for their produce; more so, they are forced to accept the price that is offered with the only choice being to take their produce back to the farm. However they agreed that the good news was that today, the government has awakened to recognise the urgent need for creating a competitive market structure integrated over space and time to generate absolute marketing efficiency. Prof Prakash Kammardi, Chairman of the Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission, deliberated upon the need to bring in a minimum statutory market price so as to freeze the lowest price for every produce and to bring the market to the farmer— a reverse of the current situation.
Manoj Rajan, IFS, Additional Secretary, Government of Karnataka and MD & CEO, ReMSL, in his keynote address said that the Karnataka government was keen to increase the net returns of the farmer.
The pros and cons of the earlier and present systems of marketing in agriculture was discussed, and it was tactically agreed upon that the agricultural marketing came both at the beginning and end of the farming process. Thus, it was more important and significant to address the problems at the grassroots-level, they agreed.