How Is The Indian Agriculture Sector Managing With The Pandemic And The Farm Laws?
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|July 2021
Of late, the agriculture sector has been hugely impacted by the unprecedented conditions caused by the pandemic. Add to this, the twist given by the new farm laws, which have been enacted across the board, though being opposed vociferously by the farmers primarily from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, which they apprehend that it is a neoliberal move, which they think would lead to the loss of traditional wholesale markets and the corporatization of agriculture. Thus, the situation has become more complex and compounded.
Raagini Sharma

The production and the marketing of farm produce have been immensely affected by the labor and logistical constraints due to frequent and long lockdowns as dictated by policies of state and central governments taking into account the shocking situations on the ground caused by the pandemic. The pandemic looming large on one hand and the ongoing agitation by the farmers against the new farm laws at the other, has put the agriculture sector into a precarious position as the farm harvests have been reduced, the mandis (rural markets) operations jeopardized and the profits marginalized. While the administration continues to assert that these are the major reforms and would bring more prosperity, the matter remains in question, to whom it will bring wealth? Even though the government claims that these laws will offer better value income for farmers but there are the repeated assertions by farmers that the government should be devoted to procurement processes of Minimum Support Prices.

The High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on agricultural exports, created in 2019, in consultation with the 15th Finance Commission, states that the three Farm Laws are “very important” for the country’s trade policy and agriculture sector, which are:

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