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Dec 23, 2011 at 04:47am IST

Farmer groups support FDI in multi-brand retail: Govt

New Delhi: The government on Thursday said farmer groups have come out in support of FDI in multi-brand retail and have demanded its early implementation.

The statement comes following the meeting of Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma with the representatives of Consortium of Indian Farmers' Associations (CIFA) as a part of consultation process on allowing 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

"CIFA Secretary General Chengal Reddy conveyed the desire of various farmers' body to implement the decision as soon as possible," an official release said.

Farmer support FDI in multi-brand retail: Govt

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma met representatives of Consortium of Indian Farmers' Associations on Thursday.

After the government put on hold its decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail amid stiff resistance from opposition as well as UPA allies, Industry Ministry started consultations with stakeholders, including different government departments, traders and farmers.

The ministry had similar consultations with SMEs and food processing industry.

"FDI in retail will free farmers from the middleman and will get the remunerative price for the produce to the farmer," the official release quoted Reddy as saying.

The Industry Minister explained to the farmers that the policy has a "distinct" Indian imprint that safeguards local farmers and small and medium enterprises.

Reddy asked the Minister to ensure procurement efficiencies that will get the farmer good price for his labour.

Sharma explained to him the inherent provision that ensures the protection of interests of the farmers. "As supply chain efficiencies are built up, post-harvest losses will be considerably reduced, thereby enabling remunerative prices to farmers."

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