We are all aware of the recent developments and the conundrum which has been created due to latest Farmers Bill and amendments. However we keep a View that this Bill is going to be Beneficial to the Farmer!
THE BILL IS GOOD FOR FARMER!
THE GOOD Farmers are going to Benefit from this Bill with High Price & Assured Sales for their Commodities as more & more Buyers appears which will Increase the Price based on Demand-Supply logic.
THE BAD Intermediate Brokers are the Bad People who currently make huge profits by under-paying the farmer & over-pricing to the customer. These guys are going to get hurted.
THE UGLY End Customer you & me are going to Pay High Price in future as the local street sellers going to disappear in coming years – because they cannot source from the farmers who sell at high price to corporates. This will automatically lead to Monopoly of the Corporates who owns the Huge Supply Chain & Godowns where they can Hoard & Control the Price Hikes with some clicks on computer.
With farmers taking up the streets during these chilly winters, it is quite evident that there is definitely a doubt among the farmers about the farmers bill which has been advertised in such a rosy picture. Moreover many questions have raised against the government regarding the approach they have taken to manage the situation.
Government’s lack of interest in having an open discussion with the farmers and the farmers’ resilience has left many in confusion & the numerous layers of recent reforms makes it immensely challenging for anyone to have a clear understanding of the situation.
The government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi amidst the pandemic got 2 bills & 1 amendment in effect with the aim to liberalise the agricultural sector but it seems to have backfired.
As per the farmers these reforms are a tool to offer more control and power to private corporations in the name of liberalisation that will result in increase in exploitation of the already exploited farmer.
In this article we have made an attempt to give you an in-depth understanding of these Farmers Bill and intend to provide you an unbiased overview of the overall impact as well as the loopholes that can be exploited.
Farmers Bill & the Reforms
The government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi got 2 bills & 1 amendment in effect with the aim to liberalise the agricultural sector which are :
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
- The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation Bill, 2020)
- The Essential Commodities Amendment, 2020
Before we move in to the explanation of each aspect of these Farmers Bill, its important to understand what reforms these bills and the amendment will bring in effect.
- Freedom To Sell : Earlier Farmers were obligated to sell their produce only at APMC Mandi where the cartels kept the prices very low. With the reform, farmers now will have the freedom to sell at an APMC Mandi or any other seller of their choice. This can enable them to earn a better price in a competitive market
- Freedom to Bargain : Earlier Farmers were obligated to accept whatever price was offered for their produce once they have brought the produce at APMC Mandi. With the reform, farmers now will have the freedom to bargain and set a price they feel comfortable with as now they will be able to sell any seller who is willing to pay a better price.
- Commission Free : Earlier consumers and producers were obligated to pay a Mandi fee, commissions and other charges. With the reform, there will be no concept of any fee or commission a consumer or producer is liable to pay resulting in great savings
- Minimum to No Intermediary : Earlier there was a long chain of intermediaries which resulted large price spread. With the reform, farmers now will enjoy a higher share in the sales’ earning and can provide freedom from the intermediaries
- Opportunity for Youth : Earlier there was no concept of open selling and hence the farm youth didn’t have any opportunity trade agricultural commodities freely. With the reform, farm youth now will enjoy new opportunities in terms of availability of open market and build a supply chain of their own
- Benefit to Small Land Holders : Earlier the small land holders didn’t stand any chance when it came to scalability and bargaining for a better price. With the reform, the small land holders will more control over bargaining power with the access to modern input and protection against price uncertainty
- Introduction of Contract Farming : Even though contract farming is not a new concept but earlier it was restricted to very few pockets. With the reform, Government has enabled contract farming to be available all over the nation making each farmer capable to participate and benefit from the same
The above mentioned points cater to the major reforms that is expected to come into effect and it feels like a no brainer that these reforms are aimed at making farmers of the country empowered.
However now we will consider few loopholes that make these reforms highly questionable at the grass root level.
Concerns related to Farmers Bill
The recent protests by the farmers even during the chilly winters and the risk of the contagious Covid-19 virus, has forced us to look into these reforms in a more extensive manner.
In the broad picture, the farmers’ fear is related to the hidden consequences of these reforms that will put a great control in the hands of major corporates & will force them to kneel down to their demands.
Moreover considering the FPTC Act and its offered freedom to sell anywhere and to anyone will impact the APMCs which are the source of major portion of the revenue for the agricultural states like Punjab and Haryana. With more and more business moving out of APMC, they fear that loss in revenues would be major hit on their livelihood.
Conclusively even this fear of the farmers seems premature but its understandable that just the thought of losing ones livelihood can definitely motivate one to come on streets.
If a negotiation is to take place, the farmers’ demand remain quite impossible for the government to accept as the demand of making MSP a legal right will not be plausible.
As of now we can only perceive and look at the possibilities however it depends on the government how it manages the already uncontrollable situation.
We are supportive to Farmers & Support the MSP and other demands of them. We are NOT against the Corporates as they are Important for Development of a Nation. However appropriate government controls need to be enforced to ensure smooth functioning of the economy.
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REFERENCES Farmers Amendment Act 2020
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