Giving Farmers a Future
Giving Farmers a Future
The agricultural reforms promise long-term dividends, but opinion is divided on whether the farmer will get immediate succour
AJIT KUMAR JHA

ALL BIG BANG REFORMS in India have emerged out of adversity. The 1965 Green Revolution followed severe food scarcity in the country while the economic reforms of the 1990s originated from the foreign exchange crisis. The Centre’s 11-point action plan on agriculture, announced in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, looks beyond the immediate exigencies and aims to strengthen the farmer’s hand in the long run through legislative measures that will facilitate private investment in agricultural infrastructure, by boosting exports and by ushering in sweeping agricultural marketing reforms to give farmers a better deal for their produce.

THE REFORMS

l It has been proposed that the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, be amended to allow private investment for building cold storages and warehouses, strengthen the farm-to-fork supply chain and facilitate direct dealing between farmers and consumers.

  • A central legislation will allow farmers to sell their produce to anyone, outside the APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) yards.

  • A law will be formulated to dismantle inter-state barriers to the movement of agricultural produce.

  • A central legal framework is planned towards risk mitigation and price assurance to farmers.

  • A legal framework is proposed for countrywide contract farming.

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June 01, 2020