Farmers Protest Against APMC Act

Rallies, road blockades to mark Bharat Bandh In Support To Farmers.

  • Three reforming agricultural bills were recently passed on 17th September, 2020 in the Parliament and within no time, hundreds of farmers in India began protesting against these three Lok Sabha bills. The slightest of the eruption began when Akali Dal’s lone minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned her post from the Modi Government leading the ruckus throughout Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana. 
  • President Ram Nath Kovind undertook the resignation of Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who had resigned in protest against three farm sector bills. Furthermore, in advice with the PM, he has directed that cabinet Minister Narendra Singh Tomar be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, along with his existing portfolios.
  • Farmers throughout these four states tried protesting methods to block the main highways and expressways within their own states on September 16 to prevent the law from pursuing in the Parliament. Despite the protests, the bills continued to pass the constituent just one step behind from declaring it a law. The Presidential signature is necessary to convert any bill into a law one. And that is the reason, the protesters have got down onto roads to illegalize this subsequent matter to protect the income of poor farmers.
  • Here is a quick look at what are the newly passed Agriculture Ordinance of 2020 and what are their main objectives:

Bill 1: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020

  • The first bill was introduced by the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar.
  • It lets the intra and interstate farmers to produce even outside the premises of APMC* markets without paying any extra market free or levy as State governments are prohibited from levying any of those.
  • It helps in the removal of barriers for Intra/ Inter-state of the agricultural products.
  • Farmers can sell their product to anyone coming from anywhere.
  • The monopoly of traders will tend to decline soon
  • Farmers can increase their rate of income with better returns
  • It creates a national market and a free movement of Agro products from surplus to deficit regions.
  • End consumers get better and return thus increasing income rate.

Bill 2: Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill 2020

  • This was also introduced by the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar.
  • It aims at organizing contractual farming system between a buyer and farmer, through an agreement. This should be done before the production of any agro product.
  •  Three-tier dispute settlement framework is provided here – Sub-Divisional Magistrate, the conciliation board and Appellate Authority.
  • With the help of this bill, farmers will be invited to enter into the agreements with the large buyers, retailers and exporters.
  • The prices will be completely transparent throughout the agro-processes. This way, the farmers will be aware of the market price before sowing.
  • Farmers would no longer be the reason for the market risk. Instead, the sponsors shall be concluded.
  • High-quality seeds, pesticides and fertilizers can be availed by the farmers.
  • Welcoming of private investors upon farming and the agro products
  • An entry to national as well as an international market.

Bill 3: The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill

  • Introduced by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Rao Saheb Patil Danve, it helps in empowering the Government of India to control the supply of particular agro-food products under unusual situations like war.
  •  In case of a steep hike of price, stock limits can be applied on farm products.
  • Many agro foods like pulses, onion, potatoes, oilseeds, cereals, and edible oils are removed from the essential commodities list by this farm bill 2020.
  • Except under unusual circumstances, this newly passed agriculture bill does away with the imposition of stock limit.
  • Business and traders get rid of harassment.
  • With the improvement of storage facilities, the wastage rate is likely to get reduced.
  • This latest agriculture policy aims for a stable price which will eventually help in raising farm incomes.

Reasons behind Protest against Agriculture Bill 2020:

  • The major fear of the farmers is that they believe they might not get paid as per MSP act latest agricultural policy.
  • They demand liberty of legal actions to take against any agency that purchases their agro products below the minimum support prices as per the act.
  • These newly passed bills threaten the commission agents operating

between farmers and consumers as they fear that they might lose the

commission.

  • As per farmers, they think and believe that these farmers bill 2020 will help big business houses.
  • Farmers are concerned about the fact that these agriculture bills in India will lead to two markets outside the ‘mandis’ having different rules.

*What is the APMC Act?

The model APMC Act, 2003 was initiated to form a contract to enhance the laws that were released to the states. For farming based on a contract, 20 states have amended their APMC Act though Punjab follows a different law for this purpose.