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A Quick Glance At The Farm Acts 2020 - Harseerat Kaur Bal

INTRODUCTION

The farmers are the backbone of a society. The entire population of a country depends on the farmers for food. For the betterment of every section of society government has passed various bills from time to time but the AGRICULTURAL ACTS,2020 has created huge unrest in the farmers' society. On 17, September the two most controversial bills have been passed by the Lok Sabha. These two acts are The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act.

As there's a lot of confusion regarding the FARM ACTS, let us take a brief look at acts to see what are the acts and what is described in that so that it is easy for us to understand it in a better way.



WHAT ARE THE FARM ACTS 2020?

There are three acts that are passed by the government in 2020. The acts include:

1. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020

2. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020

3. Farm Services Bill and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.


BRIEF DISCUSSION ABOUT THE ACTS


1. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020

According to this act, the farmers can sell their crops outside the mandis or local deliver markets that are directed by the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) which is regulated under various states.legislations.

The APMC Act was introduced after the independence of India and it plays a vital role in the green revolution in 1950s. The APMC act was passed to save the agriculturist from the continuous cycle of exploitation from the moneylenders and zamindars. This act allows the farmers to sell their products at a fixed minimum selling price to the governments and other buyers through the middlemen.


2. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020

This act grants authorization for contract farming. According to this act, farmers can make a contract with the buyers before the sowing seasons. According to its preamble it permits, "national framework on farming agreements that empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed 'remunerative price".


3. Farm Services Act and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

This act was an amendment to the Essential commodities act,1955, this charge looks for to limit the powers of the government about the generation, supply, and distribution of certain key commodities.


A close look at acts

In India, approximately 60% of the total population depends on farming for their livelihood and 15% of India's GDP directly comes from the Agriculture sector. With such an endless division of the nation, there surely was a requirement for some proper rules in it. Recently the government has come up with three bills that are considered to be beneficial for farming but are in a great denial by the farmers. For a better understanding of the bills and the controversy by the farmers, there is a need for a closer look at the bills.

These laws aim for one nation one market i.e they give farmers the right to choose where to sell their crops not as in the APMC act the farmers can sell their crops to the middlemen at the mandis.

In this, no APMC tax will be applied as the crops are sold out of the mandi so firms are more interested in buying the crops outside the APMC

mandis. This will lead to the collapse of the APMC mandis and leads to privatization.

The APMC act was passed to protects the farmers from the zamindars and money landers but stills it has some loopholes. For operating as a middleman in APMC one needs to get a license and generally the license was given to those who have well-established shops in APMC mandis which leads to a lot of capital investments. These brokers fulfill their investment by abusing the agriculturists.

The next point to ponder is MINIMUM SELLING PRICE, the MSP applies to the crops which are sold in mandis and not to the crops which are sold outside the mandis. Indeed although we have a law for obligatory MSP in APMC mandis, only 6% of agriculturists get it. Presently that we have laws, the condition is of the farmer is substandard, envision the circumstance exterior mandis where MSP doesn't apply. The amendment will raise the exploitation of these agriculturists by the firms and diminish the MSP proportion.

Another point is that by the application of these bills farmers get the freedom to sell their crops to anyone but there is a lack of bargaining power in farmers which leads to the exploitation of the farmers.

Solutions

l Farmers request the government to roll back these acts and keeps the APMC.

l The minimum selling price should be applicable inside as well as outside the AMPC mandis

l Any transaction between the buyer and the farmers should be allowed below MSPs.

l Acquirement by the government.


Conclusion:

As the application of these acts is still pending hence it cannot decide whether they are boon or bane for the farmers. Let's hope for the success of these acts so that the farmers' community of our country which feeds us does not suffer from any kind of loss due to these bills and the government should also reconsider the demands purposed by the farmers such as the fixing MSPs etc.








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