Coronavirus update: ‘Reforms necessary to liberate farmers’/Representative Image
Coronavirus update: ‘Reforms necessary to liberate farmers’/Representative Image

Mumbai: As the saying goes the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the agriculture experts and industry bodies said the timebound implementation of reforms and financial package is necessary to unshackle the agriculture and liberate the farmers who until now were largely tied to a few buyers in terms of selling the produce.

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development’s (NABARD) former chairman Umesh Chandra Sarangi said, “The High-Power Committee of Chief Ministers appointed in Modi 1.0 govt had suggested that the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) be kept in abeyance.

The Act should be invoked in the event of short supply of particular produce. Similarly, the Model Act to amend Agriculture Market Produce Committee was prepared way back in 2005 and it was accepted by about 18 states. It was not done in uniformity."

On the other hand, Maharashtra’s former additional chief secretary (agriculture) Dr Sudhir Goel said if these reforms and package are implemented by taking all the stakeholders into confidence then it will be blessings in disguise for farmers.

‘’The FM has announced to bring in a central law allowing the barrier-free inter-state trade of produce. Similarly, amendment to the APMC Act and Essential Commodities Act are being talked quite often but now the need of the hour is its implementation.’’

FICCI President Dr Sangita Reddy said, “The creation of a legal framework to provide farmers with certainty with regard to the offtake and pricing even before sowing is started is an indication that government is serious about promoting contract farming whose benefits we have already seen in certain parts of the country.’’

IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Ashish Vaid said, “The choices being offered to farmers to sell produce on trading and inter-trade will make him price maker.’’

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