September 17, 2020
Farmers no longer have to sell produce at designated place, however procurement at Minimum Support Price will continue
Legislations to bring about transformation and transparency, and increase in electronic trading, agricultural growth, and private investment
Bills will pave the way for One India, One Agriculture market, and will create additional trading opportunities
Agriculture is one of India’s highest performing sectors with an overall growth of 3.4% and export increase of 23%
On September 17, the Lok Sabha passed two bills aimed at transforming the Indian agriculture industry and raising farmers’ income. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 were introduced in Lok Sabha on 14th September 2020 by the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar.
Shri Tomar underlined that, while farmers will now be freed from the restrictions of having to sell their produce at designated places only, the procurement at Minimum Support Price will continue and mandis established under State laws will also continue to operate. The Union Agriculture Minister said that these legislations will bring about transformation and transparency, with an increase in electronic trading, accelerated agricultural growth, and increased private investment towards building supply chains and infrastructure. Through these, new employment opportunities will be created and the subsequent boost to the rural economy will bolster the national economy as well.
The bills aim to pave the way for creating ‘One India’, ‘One Agriculture Market’, and will create additional trading opportunities outside the APMC market yards. They also provide a national framework on farming agreements to protect and empower farmers. The farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce under this Act. Further, there will be a separate dispute resolution mechanism for the farmers.
Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy and one of the country’s highest performing sectors with an overall growth of 3.4% and export increase of 23%. Driven by volume and variety of output, the Indian food industry is expected to break into new markets, raising supply to the global food value chain. India’s food processing sector has also grown its market with high-margin and high-quality offerings. Self-reliance in agriculture is critical for the goal of building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). The new reforms will further boost the output and income of farmers by improving their access to markets and easing regulations around the marketing of agricultural and processed items.