Odisha mulling contract farming to tackle distress sale

Bhubaneswar: After witnessing distress sale of vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes and cauliflower, the Odisha government, on the recommendation of the Central government, is mulling to come up with a contract farming act.

As per the model act, selected new companies will enter into agreements with farmers before production of a particular crop. The concerned companies will not only give technical assistance to the farmers but also sign agreements stipulating the prices at which they will buy the produce from farmers.

Odisha Cooperation Minister, Surya Narayan Patro confirmed that the State will soon come up with an ordinance as per the Centre’s advisory related to contract farming.

“I have already directed my department to frame the law in Odisha context; the law is in drafting stage and once it is completed, we will start contract farming in the State through an ordinance.

– said Patro.

Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy on the other hand said that he has no information related to the matter but stated, “Whatever policy the Cooperation department may introduce, the main aim should be to benefit the farmers,” said Maharathy.

However, farmers believe that the new policy will adversely affect sharecroppers and also small and marginal farmers.

Farmer leader Saroj said, “Through contract farming, the government is trying to sell and ruin the small and marginal farmers.”

As per reports, the Cooperation department will invite as many as 1500 companies to sign agreements with farmers of the State. The companies will be selected on the basis of tenders.

However, it remains to be seen whether the introduction of such a new model will benefit the farmers or not.