Watershed moment in Indian agriculture history: PM Modi



Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi has said that the new agriculture bills passed in Parliament is a watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture. However the Prime Minister has assured that the system of minimum support price- MSP to crops will remain and Government procurement will continue. He said that every season the Government would announce Minimum support price as usual. Farmers were worried by confusing reports that there won’t be minimum support price at all. Prime Minister himself has clarified that the MSP system will continue and the new laws are aimed at enhancing the bargaining power of farmers. Prime Minister had said that more than 85 per cent of the farmers are small and marginal and farmer producer organisations can make them coordinate and ensure good input costs and get better yield.

The farmers’ produce trade and commerce (Promotion and facilitation) bill 2020, which was passed by both houses of parliament recently, ensures freedom of choice for farmers and traders for sale and purchase of agri products. It also promotes free flow of agriculture products and barrier free trade. Farmers have been assured that they don’t have to pay levy and transportation costs. Shri Balagopal a retired official from Tiruchirapalli said whenever there is price rise of agriculture products due to paucity of natural calamity middlemen and traders get the advantage. With this new law, farmers will be able to sell their product directly and avoid middlemen. The government has stressed that procurement at Minimum Support Price will continue and farmers can sell their produce at MSP rates. Farmers will have the option to sell their produce at other places in addition to the local markets. The e-NAM online trading system will also continue in the markets.

The Farmers Empowerment and Protection (Agreement of Price Assurance and Farmer Services) bill 2020 will empower farmers for engaging with processors, wholesalers, large retailers and exporters. The farmers can get assured price even before sowing of crops. In case of higher market price, due to high demand farmers will enjoy the benefit by getting higher price. This will protect the farmer from market fluctuation. To make small farmers compete in larger area, 10,000 Farmer Producer organizations are being formed throughout the country. The essential commodities amendment Bill 2020 proposes to deregulate production storage movement of cereals pulses edible oils and onions except for extraordinary circumstances.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister ShEdapadiPalanisamy had welcomed the new agriculture laws enacted by Parliament and said they will be beneficial to Tamil Nadu farmers. The state government had further assured that procurement will continue. Tamil Nadu Cauvery delta farmers welfare association has pointed out that the agriculture bills passed in Parliament are not going to affect Tamil Nadu farmers.

The contribution of farmers in ensuring food security when the nation was struggling to face the covid 19 pandemic is very important. Union government is enacting laws to make farmers feel secure by helping them double their income and is continuously striving to make agriculture econamically viable.