In recent days, we have witnessed a huge gush of protest against the farm bill introduced on the 14th of Sept, from state governments, from farmers, and activists. Everyone is busy criticizing the government, but factually talking, how many citizens in the country actually know what the farm ordinance is? There has been a lot of chaos and confusion all around the internet on this! You would hardly find an article properly explaining the entire thing. And mind it that our articles are highly in the Interest of readers, we discard the influence of any political or personal ideologies! So here we are again with a completely fact-based analysis!
India is an agricultural land, and 42.7% of the population is indulged in farming activities, but on contrary, their contribution to GDP is just 15.8% why is it so, and what does it have to do with the new policies? People across the country are chanting the same sentence,” the bill is good for agriculture but not for the farmers” I have a question for them! How? We will discuss every point that’s being manipulated! And we’ll try our best to explain things in the easiest possible way.
So let’s start from the start…
Farm ordinance: what is it and why is it being imposed?
In this new gush of farm ordinance, you must have come across words like APMC, MSP, local markets, etc,. so let’s start by understanding these terms.
In India, a farmer can sell it’s produced in three ways: APMC, MSP, and in Their local markets.
APMC:- It means the Agricultural Produce & Livestock Market Committee, in simple words it facilitates and regulates the Mandi markets. Now, what are these… Mandi markets were set-up after the independence to save the farmers from the exploitation of the zamindars, under it, no farmer could sell their goods to an individual, they could only sell in the mandis regulated by the government. Some middlemen purchased the product and further sold them to the traders, but as the time passed these middlemen started exploiting the farmers, the policy passed for the protection of the farmer became a source of exploiting the farmers.
MSP:- you must be aware of the term MRP that stands for maximum retail price, similarly msp is the minimum selling price, a price on which the government purchases some specified crops from the farmers. But it should be kept in mind that from the research of Niti ayog, it was found that only 6% farmers can avail the benefits of this scheme.
Local Markets: these imply the area where Farmers sell their produce, it usually includes their kasba or village.
Now let’s focus on what these farm ordinances are-
We will discuss each of the three ordinances one by one,
- The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) bill.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 allows intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers’ produce beyond the physical premises of APMC markets. State governments are prohibited from levying any market fee, cess, or levy outside APMC areas.
Now, why is this a reason for protest? Many people including the middlemen think that this particular ordinance will abolish the Mandi System leaving behind the unemployed middlemen! But this is nowhere mentioned that APMC will be abolished. It’s just an opportunity for the farmers to get out of the box called mandi under this scheme, farmers can sell their crops in other state mandis as well, earlier they could sell their products only in their state mandi.
Moreover, this new ordinance prohibits the state government to levy any changes on such a trade, which usually fetches them a great revenue if imposed in the mandi. So this is another reason of protests by the state governments.
Some also say that it will revoke the MSP scheme, but this is not true, there are just 22 crops that are purchased under this scheme and the government will continue to purchase them as it does, moreover only 6% of the farmers were able to avail the benefits of this scheme, so it doesn’t affect the farmers’ community as a whole in any way.
- The Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill.
The Farmers Agreement Ordinance creates a framework for contract farming through an agreement between a farmer and a buyer prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. It also provides for a three-level dispute settlement mechanism: the conciliation board, Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Appellate Authority.
it should be noted that this ordinance does not give a free hand to the industries to exploit the farmers, Rather it gives an option to the farmers to choose and sell its produce.
Let us understand this with an example. Suppose a ketchup producing company approaches a farmer growing tomatoes to sell his produce to him, for example, say 23rs per kg and in mandi the rate for the same Tomatoes is 20rs per kg, the farmer will get a choice to select it’s buyer. Obviously, whosoever is ready to purchase it at a higher rate, the farmer would sell it to them. So this is how this contract scheme works and in no condition, the industries can exploit the farmers.
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 allows the central government to regulate the supply of certain food items only under extraordinary circumstances (such as war and famine). Stock limits may be imposed on agricultural produce only if there is a steep price rise.
This bill implies that the old act of 1955, that prohibited stocking up of some essentials, is revised. In 1955, it was imposed owing to crises in the agricultural sector, but now, since this act is of no use, it is being revised. But it should be noted that it is clearly mentioned in the bill, that it can be re-imposed again in the future if similar crises arise.
Why is there a wave of Chaos?
This was all in the bills, you must be thinking that if the things are so simple then why is there a wave of chaos?? So the wave arises from the political tensions and media crises we are facing in the current scenario, moreover somewhere this act is cutting down the revenues of the state government to an extent. And in this entire gush of false information, the political parties are trying to regain the stake that they have lost in 2019 elections.
One of the major reasons for this unclear foggy chaos is the lack of accuracy in the media houses. They are hardly carrying out their duties of being public informant. People are hardly able to perceive anything about these acts.
Many people have also alleged the government of not establishing proper communication with the community on this, and using a backdoor for the introduction of these policies in the middle of this pandemic. Well if you see and analyze the things you’ll find that the government tried it’s best to communicate on this with the people, Prime Minister himself has addressed this topic but why wasn’t that impactful? Because of Harsimrat Kaur’s resignation and the gush created after it. People’s pre-manipulated mindset is playing a great role in it, Moreover, the carelessness from the media’s end is also condemnable.
We request you to perceive things and stand with true Journalism. Your contribution to the site will highly be appreciated. That’s all for this article stay tuned for more!