India plans call centre for farmers

Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India is planning to set up a call centre for farmers to help them obtain all relevant information, Agriculture Minister Rajnath Singh said Monday.

"A call centre scheme for farmers is on anvil. Under the scheme any farmer of the country will be able to obtain any agriculture information required by him," Singh told a meeting of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Limited.

"The facility will be available free of cost to the farmers," he said, adding the scheme is likely to be introduced by the end of next month.

On the problems being faced by the sugar cane growers and sugar industry due to the fixation of high minimum support price to farmers, the minister said the government was committed to resolve their problems.

One of the biggest producer and consumer of sugar, India needs to "improve the quality of the sugar to increase exports," Singh said.

Of the 20.2 million tonnes production, India consumed around 18 million tonnes and exported 1.56 million tonnes in 2002-03, which ended on September 30 for the sugar industry.

Singh said the sugar industry had to find ways to make exports from the country more competitive.

He pointed out that greater autonomy had been granted to cooperative societies as it was felt they could prosper only in an environment of least governmental interference.

Source: IANS
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