Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Can traceability of agriculture produce help agriculture and farmers ?

Even after enough production farmers don’t get the fair price of his agriculture produce and agriculture produce don’t get the market & buyer. In industrial production everything is written in record and books are well maintained for regular audit & inspection. Everything is traceable if it is required. In agriculture production things are not recorded and traceable. Lack of traceability leads to many problems. Agriculture sector faces many problems like farmers suicide, bad farm loan, farm loan waiver, over production, food prices inflation, distress selling, throwing the production on road, storage problem, over import of agriculture commodities, black market selling, adulteration etc. 

What is agriculture traceability ? 

It is record keeping and mapping of the process of agriculture production to processing and reaching in hand of end user. Traceability will include the mapping of farm input supplier, farm inputs, farmers, farmers land, primary market of for agriculture commodity selling, secondary market of agriculture product selling, stockist, transporter, warehousing, processor, finish product stockist, whole seller, retailer and other point or steps involved in this process from farmer to consumer. 



Mapping of farm inputs and farm input sellers 

Quality and quantity of agriculture production depends on farm inputs. If the farm inputs are properly mapped then this will help farmers to ensure if they are getting right product of right quality, they are being not cheated, their product is recommended for particular crop. Last year there was case in MP that some product was recommended for Groundnut and farmers used in soybean crop. The crop was damaged. When the farmers raised the issue of crop damage against the company and administration then company gave an excuse that their product was not recommended for Soybean crop and farmers have used applied product for soybean crop. Once the inputs and inputs seller will be mapped then by the end of harvest season, actual production estimate will be calculated. 

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Can traceability of agriculture produce help agriculture and farmers ?
It can be also mapped with farm loans so that govt can ensure that subsidized for agriculture purpose is used for right purpose. Insurance company can also estimate the risk and loss with the help of private data. Farm input is the base record which must be mapped and recorded in proper way. Govt can also monitor if seed companies are making huge profit or cheating with farmers. 

Once the farmers buy the product his land his operation should be recorded and mapped. It will ensure the farmer have done right operations, type of insect & disease has attacked. How were they managed and what type of chemicals were used? If will also give an estimate that how much crop is sown area. IF will be helpful in the case of crop damage, risk calculation. It will also ensure that production is coming to local market from the local area, it is not arrived from other state or imported from other country. It will also assist banks and finical institutes if farmer have enough production for making payment or not. Is it leads that farmers are in problem then his loan can be adjusted as per the norms? It will help govt to identify the right beneficiary. This is most crucial step. If govt has to give incentive to farmers for complete mapping, then govt should do it. Farmer is the start point of agriculture food production then it will helpful to keep the whole chain (from production to end consumer) clean. 



Post harvesting mapping 

Once the agriculture production has mapped then production will come in market for trading and processing. These are point of entry of external material and point to wipe out the production. Primary market of agriculture produce is main point for mapping and traceability. After primary market selling agriculture produces normally go to processing industries and these industries are maintaining the record regularly. If will give an idea that what is farmers getting, what is industry investing in processing and what is industry getting from selling of produce. 

Traceability information and labeling 

After the traceability and mapping there must be mandatory discloser of information under a code which can help end consumer that from where his product is coming, at what stage his product is processed and what type of contents/ingredients are used in preparation of his consumable product. This must be available on public website. Govt can trace the location of the produce, Illegal hording, point of adulteration, detail of stock laying at ware house, transport, processing factory and sells points, point of tax default and many more. Traceability can’t be complete solution but it can give relief to agriculture more than 70-80 %. Any extra profit is made from a channel can be shared with original producer of agriculture produce or Farmer.

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