NAFED diversifies to seed business, enters contract farming

NAFED diversifies to seed business, enters contract farming

New Delhi, 25 September National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) plans to double the turnover of seed business in 2007 after entering the sector last year.

“We aim to take seed business turnover to about 80-100 crore from the current level of 50 crore," NAFED Managing Director Alok Ranjan said on the sidelines of the cooperative’s Annual General Meeting here today.

He said NAFED has signed MoUs with state governments of Tamil Nadu and Orissa to produce seeds through contract farming.

In Tamil Nadu, the cooperative would develop groundnut and a local pulse variety in 50 villages while in Orissa it would undertake groundnut and sesame cultivation through contract farming in 20 villages, he said.

NAFED last year diversified into seeds and fertiliser sectors sensing the mood in the market.

The diversification for NAFED was essential considering the fragile nature of price of commodities while procuring oilseeds and pulses, a NAFED official said.

“May be, we do not need price support scheme (PSS) as market prices of pulses and oilseeds are higher. We, therefore, need to focus on commercial activities to increase our turnover," Ranjan told the AGM.

NAFED’s net profit dipped to 1.77 crore in 2006-07 as against 14.28 crore in 2005-06 despite registering a turnover of 6,381 crore in 2006-07 against 3,186 crore in 2005-06.

NAFED is the main agency to operate government’s PSS for pulses, oilseeds and other crops by procuring at the support price when the market prices fall.