What structural reforms in agriculture would you suggest specific to land leasing and market restrictions? Discuss keeping in focus the current policy efforts in that direction.

Land problems in India are an age old issue since the British times.
Issues pertaining to land include-

  • Tenancy
  • Land ceiling
  • Land administration
  • Revising the ceiling limits
  • Quality of land
  • Challenge of miniscule holdings due to marginalization

All these issues call for a definite change through structural reforms.
With respect to Land lease issue, there has been transfer of ownership to the cultivator. But, there is no availability of protection for the tenants. Therefore, reforms in this sector can be in the nature of introducing transparent land leasing laws which will allow the potential tenant or sharecropper to engage in written contracts with the landowner. This will be a win-win situation. Due to this, the tenant will have an incentive to make investment in improvement of land, also the landowner will be able to lease land without any sort of fear that he would lose the land to the tenant and also the government will be able to implement its policies efficiently.
With respect to agricultural marketing, there exists Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Acts in different states which permit the first sale of crops after harvesting by farmers.
However this has loopholes such as farmers buyers are restricted only to traders or commission agents licensed to operate in the area under a particular APMC. Also, multiple licences are required to trade in different mandis within the same state.
In this regard, National Agriculture Market (NAM) online trading portal where farmers can offer their produce to buyers in any part of the country is a welcome move which is will makes the farmers hassle free and they will feel incentivised.

Question for UPSC Mains:
What structural reforms in agriculture would you suggest specific to land leasing and market restrictions? Discuss keeping in focus the current policy efforts in that direction.

Published: December 30, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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