Agricultural Sector and Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc.

The many layers to agricultural discontent

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : APMC Act

Mains level : Paper 3- Farmers protest against Farms Acts

Farmers protest against the Farm laws is based on the multiple reasons. The article analyses these concerns of the protesting farmers.

Three farm laws and response to it

  • Three Farm Bills were passed by the Central government in September 2020.
  • In the process, the regulatory role the state played hitherto with regard to these issues was watered down to a great extent.
  • Apart from complex challenges that rural India confronts today, there is a substantial body of studies that demonstrates how the vagaries of the market and the role of the middlemen reinforce agrarian distress in India.
  • However, organised farmers’ bodies are not in sync with the reasoning of the government.

Role of the states

  • There is a debate around the constitutional provisions with regard to the respective domains of the State and the Union with regard to agricultural marketing,
  • However, issues affecting the farming community have a far greater bearing on the States relative to the Centre.
  • Ideally, given its immediacy, the States are the apt agencies to respond to a host of concerns faced by the farming community, which includes agricultural marketing.
  • While enacting the Farm Bills, the Centre extended little consideration to the sensitivity of the States.

Role of APMC

  • In Punjab and Haryana, tweaking the APMC system and its resultant bearing on Minimum Support Price (MSP) is seen by the farmers as a threat to an assured sale of their produce at a price.
  • MSP system provides a cushion, wherein the farmer can anticipate the cost of opting for these crops and tap the necessary supports through channels he has been familiar with.
  • Farmers are apprehensive of the vagaries of a competitive market where he would eventually be beholden to the large players including monopolies.
  • There is widespread apprehension that the measures proposed by the Farm Acts in addition to the existing agrarian distress, are only going to make the lot of the farmer even more precarious.
  • All across the country, the farming community is prone to sympathise with the demand to scrap the new laws, as they have little to offer to them in a positive sense.

Conclusion

Those with large holdings and produce for the market — are spearheading the present stand-off against the Farm Bills, as it affects them very deeply. But farming distress is shared in common by the different strata within the farming community, even though it has a differential impact on them.

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