Farmer welfare in Kerala, in the absence of Mandi system

Farmer welfare in Kerala, in the absence of Mandi system

Synopsis: Absence of Madi system in Kerala has not impacted the farmer’s welfare in the state. 

Background:  

Thousands of farmers have assembled to protest against the 3 farm bills and have established a new way of life at Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur, Noida and Shahjahanpur borders.  

  • Farmers have made all necessary arrangements for food, shelter, clothing, and sanitation. They have been gathering a countrywide support.
  • A tussle among various political parties is also ongoing on the issue of support or opposition to farmer’s demand. 
  • Meanwhile, in all this debate, example of Kerala was used by some big politicians that the states with no Mandi system is also siding with the farmers. 
  • However, ground realities and facilities for farmers in Kerala suggest that the same model can be applied at other places too for the welfare of farmers.  

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How Farmer’s Welfare in Kerala assured? 

Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and mandis although do not exist in Kerala, the needs and interests of farmers are taken care of in the state.  

  • The central government’s rate for obtaining rice is ₹ 18 a kg whereas the government in Kerala has fixed the price of rice from cultivators at ₹27.48 a kg. This increased basic price is also applicable on fruits and vegetables.
    • Basic prices (per Kg) of 16 items are assured by the government. Few examples are tapioca ₹12, banana ₹30, garlic ₹139, pineapple ₹15, tomato ₹8, string beans ₹34, ladies’ fingers ₹20, cabbage ₹11 and potato ₹20. 
  • Dried coconut also has a much higher procurement rate in Kerala as compared to the rate announced by the central government. 
  • Apart from crop insurance, paddy cultivators also get the royalty in Kerala at the rate of ₹2,000 per hectare. They get a pension as well, which is a very unique step in the country.  
    • A debt relief commission was introduced in 2006 by the left government when farmers’ suicides were increasing, this initiative tried to help and save them.   

Above facts prove that farmers in Kerala are in a better condition compared to the state of farmers in other states after enacting Farm Laws. Forex; 40% of mandis in Madhya Pradesh have registered only zero transactions after the passing of 3 bills.

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