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The Farmers Forum Punjab has welcomed Centre’s decision to permit FDI in the retail sector. In a statement, its chairman, Jagjit Singh Ghungrana said that the move by the Centre will help in creation of cold storage and supply chain facilities, will also help in reducing wastage of fresh produce and thus fruit and vegetables will become affordable. Besides, it will also help in creation of lakhs of jobs for the youth.
Ghungrana added it has been time and again highlighted through numerous media reports that various farm products such as rice, wheat and pulses, actually get destroyed because they are stored in the open as there is no proper storage facility.
“We are also aware of the huge quantities of fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables that get destroyed as there are not enough cold storages in our country. Due to infusion of FDI, cold storage and supply chain facilities will be created, resulting in better prices for farmers. Considering the fact that a large section of people of Punjab depend upon agriculture for their livelihood, any initiative to tackle this challenge will have large scale impact on the earnings of these people,” he said.
He added they strongly believe that opening FDI in retail will bring in the expertise, experience and resources of foreign retailers, who will make significant investments in creating and strengthening the storage and supply chain network across the country which will help prevent such huge wastage.
A major beneficiary of back-end investments would be farmers who will gain substantially through agricultural best-practices of international retail companies, thus improving the quality and quantity of their farm produce, and will also get better prices for their products.
Further, the reduction in wastage of fresh produce will also ensure the sufficient availability of these products in the market. This in turn will result in the reduction of prices of these products, making it available to common man, who has been severely impacted by the increase in the prices fruits, vegetables and all other products.
Also, Investments in supply chain and retail stores would also generate thousands of employment opportunities for unemployed rural and urban youth as a number of retail stores would open across our state, employing the youth in our state.