In recent the parliament passed three farm bills which includes Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.
The government said that the bills would transform the agriculture sector. It would also raise the farmers’ income, the Centre said. Further the government had also promised double farmers’ income by 2022 and the Centre said that the Bills will make the farmer independent of government controlled markets and fetch them a better price for their produce.
Ram Kaundinya, Director General, Federation of Seed Industry of India said, “FSII welcomes the Agri-Marketing reforms that has been brought by the three bills. The reforms are delayed by twenty years. They will give farmers the freedom to sell and their produce in the Mandi and will definitely help them to discover better prices from the parallel private Mandis which will be allowed now. Simultaneously Govt may make a robust implementation of the new rules by covering all the loose ends while encouraging the Mandi system to upgrade their infrastructure, use modern technology and become friendlier to the farmer. On site warehouses with warehouse receipt systems should be set up in Mandis so that farmers are not forced to sell under distress. We are sure eventually the two parallel systems will find their own equilibrium of co-existence.
National register of private buyers
Kaundinya also added that a national register of all private buyers with validated identification and financial capacity may be created which farmers and FPOs may use while deciding to sell to a particular party. There is also a need for a major effort to build capacity among farmers and FPOs to conduct their commercial deals profitably. They have to be trained in basics of making contracts, agricultural commodity markets, price forecasts for their produce and similar skills. Digital proficiency is to be built among FPOs and farmers so that they can use the digital platforms effectively to buy inputs and to sell their output. This calls for a huge effort at training. The government and the stakeholders have to take this reform to its logical conclusion. There will be certainly some learnings to be picked up along the way. This is the start of a new era for the Indian farmer. Transformational changes can happen for the farmer’s profitability and the face of agriculture can change for the better.”
Dr Shivendra Bajaj, Executive Director, Federation of Seed Industry of India said, “The reforms are historic and Centre-state cooperation is necessary to make these reforms successful.”