PANAJI, 12 October 2020: Three Farm Reform Laws are going to change the fortune of agriculture in our country. The new laws will eradicate the fundamental problems plaguing the agriculture sector.
Prakash Javadekar, minister said this in Panaji recently while addressing a Press Conference on ‘Empowerment of Farmers’.
The Minister stated that "the farmer who has been deprived for so many years, will now be empowered to determine the price of his agricultural produce. He will also have the choice whether to sell in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) or in a free market. He is now empowered with the right to determine to sell at the price he chooses".
The Farm Reform Laws are in line with the Government’s vision of ‘One Nation-One Market’. With GST, we now have ‘One Nation- One Tax’, By Setting up National Testing Agency we have ‘One Nation- One Examination’ and also the recently announced ‘One Nation- One Ration Card’ Scheme. So, in that line the Farm Laws will lead to the creation of ‘One Nation One Market’, Javadekar added.
Through the new reforms, under contract farming, it will be ensured that the ownership will remain with the farmer, the contract will only be regarding the crops. Contract farming will bring in new technology, new seeds and investment. Through the years low productivity is the biggest problem faced by our farmers. As investment will grow, the use of technology and new seeds will enhance the productivity.
The objective of agricultural reforms is to empower our farmers and increase agricultural productivity by bringing in new techniques, new seeds and new investment; and thus, to increase the contribution of agriculture to our national GDP.
Citing amendments to the Essential Commodities Act, Javadekar said that it will protect farmers from adverse market fluctuations, restrictions will be imposed only during extraordinary situations, this will enable farmers to get better worth for their produce.
Prakash Javadekar said that, there are many myths regarding the agricultural reforms that are being propagated, but they are far away from reality. Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) are there, and will remain in future also, so will be the system of the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The Minister observed that the biggest misfortune of our farmers is that the middlemen who do not produce, get more remuneration than the farmer, voices are being raised against the reforms since the new laws hurt the interests of middlemen.
Apart from the agricultural reform laws, the Government has taken many initiatives for the welfare of the Farmers. Soil Health Card, Neem Coating of Urea, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana to name a few. INR 15 Lakh Cr. worth agricultural loans are being provided at 4 percent interest; INR 77,000 crore relief has been given to farmers in last 5 years.
Under the initiative of E-Mandi, 1,000 mandis have been connected to the internet and transactions worth one lakh crore happened so far.
Over the years, the budget for agriculture sector has gone up from INR 12,000 crores to INR 1.34 lakh crores in a span of one decade.