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    Government for greater private sector participation in agriculture

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    There was good news for the agriculture sector with the government informing parliament that private sector participation is being encouraged in developing agricultural marketing infrastructure and in providing alternate marketing channels for agri-produce in order to facilitate establishment of private markets, allow direct marketing and contract farming to improve post-harvest management.

    Minister of State for Agriculture stated in Upper House of parliament that according to data compiled by (CSO), the private sector investment measured in terms of gross capital formation (GCF) (at constant 1999-2000 prices) in the agriculture and allied sectors had increased from Rs 43,035 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 46,215 crore in 2004-05, and further to Rs 49,987 crore in 2005-06.

    Under the central sector scheme, “Development and Strengthening of Infrastructure Facilities for Production and Distribution of Quality Seeds,” assistance is provided for boosting seed production in the private sector. The minister said that the scheme will facilitate back-ended capital subsidy to be provided to private companies, individual entrepreneurs, self-help groups and seed co-operatives at the rate of 25 per cent of the project cost, subject to a maximum limit of Rs 10 lakh per unit on seed infrastructure development.