Amid the lockdown which has almost crippled the economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a meeting to deliberate on the issues and reforms required in the agriculture sector.

“At the meeting, special emphasis was given on reforms in agricultural marketing, management of marketable surplus, access of farmers to institutional credit and freeing agriculture sector of various restrictions with appropriate backing of statutes,” the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.

The focus was given on making strategic interventions in the existing marketing eco-system and bringing appropriate reforms in the context of rapid agricultural development, it added.

Concessional credit flow to strengthen agriculture infrastructure, special Kisan Credit Card saturation drive for PM-KISAN beneficiaries and facilitating inter and intra-state trade of agricultural produce to ensure fairest return to the farmers were some of the important areas covered.

Developing e-NAM into a platform of platforms to enable e-commerce was one of the important topics of discussion.

Discussion also emanated on the possibilities of uniform statutory framework in the country to facilitate new ways for farming, which will infuse capital and technology into the agrarian economy.

The pros and cons of bio-technological developments in crops or enhancement of productivity and reduction in input costs was also deliberated upon. The challenges of model land leasing act and how to protect the interest of small and marginal farmers were discussed in detail.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a series of meetings with key ministers, including Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and officials of economic ministries to firm up the second stimulus package for sectors impacted by lockdown to curb spread of coronavirus.

(With inputs from agencies)