‘Putting Farmers First’: Key Points from Government E-Pamphlet

The Government of India recently issued a hundred page e-booklet called “Putting Farmers First”.The booklet highlights the success stories of farmers who have benefited from contract farming after the legislation of three farm laws.

Background

The Farmers have been protesting against the recently enacted farm laws in Delhi. The farm laws were

  • Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
  • Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020.
  • Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

According to GoI, the laws were enacted to remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

On the other hand, the farmers believe that the laws will eliminate the Minimum Support Price system and will do away with Mandis leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

What are the key highlights of the pamphlet?

  • More than 2,500 potato farmers in north Gujarat are earning Rs 40,000 per acre under the agreement with potato processing company HyFun Foods.
  • Around thousand seed potato farmers in northern Haryaan, Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh are earning 35% margin above cost under the agreement with Technico Agri Sciences.

The above farmers have benefited from Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.

What are the Benefits of Farm Reforms?

  • Single Unified Market
  • Legal Framework protecting farmer rights
  • End of APMC monopoly. They will continue to function with additional marketing channels.
  • Freedom of farmers to sell their produce to where they want and whom they want
  • Development of infrastructure close to farm gate
  • Reduction in taxes, market fees and better prices for their produce
  • Contract Farming: Price Assurance and boosting linkages with food processing sector

Need for Reforms

  • Information Asymmetry
  • Inadequate infrastructure and credit facilities
  • Fragmented and insufficient markets with high market charges
  • Restriction in licensing.

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