The Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations (CIFA), a representative body of farmers from several states, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, urging him to implement FDI in multi-brand retail in the interest of the farming community.
The consortium, which claims to represent 40 mn farmers, said it would be forced to launched an agitation from January 1 if its demand is not met.
“We met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urged him to allow foreign direct investment in the retail sector. It is in the interest of the farming community,” CIFA secretary general P Chengal Reddy said.
The CIFA has also requested the Prime Minister to set up a regulatory body to check exploitation of farmers by commission agents, he added.
Explaining that FDI in retail will help farmers as the existing marketing system at mandies and wholesalers is controlled by agents, he said farmers are compelled to pay commission. The middlemen manipulate prices and do not provide any official receipts, Reddy said.
(With PTI inputs)