Source- The Indian Express
Syllabus- GS 3- Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints
Context- Many benefits are associated with farm laws that should be considered in the debates around them.
How is the agriculture sector working on India’s Independence and till present?
- 1947-Agriculture contributed 50 per cent to the national income and employed more than 70 per cent of the nation’s workforce.
- 2019-Agriculture contributed 16.5 per cent to the national income while the sector still employs more than 42 per cent of the workforce.
What are the challenges in the Indian Agriculture market and what are the methods to address these challenges?
Therefore, this makes agriculture risky and inefficient with respect to both input and output management.
The challenges need to be addressed by-
What are the steps taken by the government?
1.The government has taken various steps including the implementation of the Swaminathan committee’s recommendations, such as-
- Fixing MSP at least 50 per cent profits on the cost of production.
- Increasing the agri budget by more than 11 times in the past 10 years.
- The establishment of e-NAM mandis.
- An Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package.
- The scheme for the formation of 10,000 FPOs.
- The removal of the mandi tax.
- The creation of a single market.
- Facilitating contract farming.
2.Farm bills provides for-
- Alternative trading channel-It will create an ecosystem where farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice of sale and purchase of farming produce to facilitate remunerative prices to farmers through competitive alternative trading channels.
- Tax-free market-It will promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce of farming produce outside the physical premises of markets notified under state agricultural produce marketing legislation. Thus, they will facilitate farmers with more buyers for their produce at their doorsteps.
- Transparency in the system–
- This framework will facilitate greater certainty in quality and price, adoption of quality and grading standards, linkage of farming agreements with insurance and credit instruments to transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor, and also enable the farmer to access modern technology and better inputs.
What are the precautions which are taken by the government to secure the farmers from fraud?
In order to ensure that our farmers are not short-changed or cheated by anyone, the bills have several safeguards such as-
- Protection of land- The prohibition of sale, lease, or mortgage of farmers’ land and farmers’ land is also protected against any recovery.
- Farming agreements-Cannot be entered into if they are in derogation of the rights of a sharecropper.
- Flexible prices-Farmers will have access to flexible prices subject to a guaranteed price in agreements.
- Sponsor’s active role-The sponsor has to ensure the timely acceptance of delivery and payment of produce to farmers and farmers’ liability is limited to only the advance received and cost of inputs provided by the sponsor.
- In case of any dispute-It will be resolved through a Conciliation Board, to be constituted by the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), failing which an aggrieved party may approach the concerned SDM for the settlement of the dispute.
- Power of the SDM– SDM can order the recovery of the amount in dispute, impose penalties and also pass an order restraining the trader for the trade and commerce of scheduled farmers’ produce for such a period as deemed fit.
The people of India must not allow falsehood and political opportunism to overshadow the key measures and mechanisms enunciated through this landmark reform, which finally puts the farmers first. These farm bills will bring transformative changes in our agricultural sector and reduce wastage, increase efficiency, unlock value for our farmers and increase farmers’ incomes for the sustainable growth of the farming sector.