Parliament on September 20,2020 passed two bills aimed at transforming agriculture in the country and raising farmers’ incomes. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 which were passed by Lok Sabha on 17th September 2020, were passed by the Rajya Sabha also on 20 September. The Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha on 14th September 2020 by Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, to replace ordinances promulgated on 5th June 2020.
Speaking about the Bills, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Government under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has taken several landmark decisions in last six years to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices for their produce, and for raising farmers’ incomes and livelihood status. He again clarified that the procurement at Minimum Support Price will continue, assurance for this has been given by Hon’ble Prime Minister himself, rate of MSP has been increased considerably during 2014-2020 and MSP for coming Rabi season will be announced in coming week.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
• The new legislation will create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will enjoy freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce.
• It will also promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations.
• The farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce and will not have to bear transport costs.
• The Bill also proposes an electronic trading in transaction platform for ensuring a seamless trade electronically.
• In addition to mandis, freedom to do trading at farmgate, cold storage, warehouse, processing units etc.
• Farmers will be able to engage in direct marketing thereby eliminating intermediaries resulting in full realization of price.
• It is noteworthy that Procurement at Minimum Support Price will continue, farmers can sell their produce at MSP rates, the MSP for Rabi season has been announced on September 22.
• Mandis will not stop functioning, trading will continue here as before. Under the new system, farmers will have the option to sell their produce at other places in addition to the mandis
• The e-NAM trading system will also continue in the mandis
For decades, the Indian farmer was bound by various constraints and bullied by middlemen. The bills passed by Parliament liberate the farmers from such adversities. These bills will add impetus to the efforts to double income of farmers and ensure greater prosperity for them.
Our agriculture sector is in desperate need of latest technology that assists the industrious farmers. Now, with the passage of the bills, our farmers will have easier access to futuristic technology that will boost production and yield better results. This is a welcome step.
Now, farmer will be his own boss! He can make his own decisions! The new legislation empowers farmers & gives alternative marketing channels including E marketing platform. Farmers can get better remunerative prices. Farm related problems can now be resolved at his doorstep.