After the announcement of the landmark decisions by the Government of India for reforms in the agricultural sector for raising the income of the farmers as part of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the President of India has promulgated the following Ordinances with the aim of giving a boost to rural India for farmers engaged in agriculture and allied activities
- The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020
- The Central Government has been making comprehensive interventions to impart efficiency and effectiveness to agricultural marketing, with the aim of raising the income of the farmers.
- By recognizing the bottlenecks preventing the holistic development of marketing of the agriculture produce, the Government drafted and circulated the Model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing (APLM) Act 2017, and also the Model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Contract Farming Act of 2018, for adoption by the states.
- When the whole ecosystem of agriculture and its allied activities was tested during the COVID-19 crises, it reconfirmed the necessity for the Central Government to speed up the reform process and to come up with a national legal facilitative ecosystem to improve intra-state and interstate trade of agriculture produce.
- The Government of India also recognized the need for the farmer to sell agriculture produce at a place of his choice at a better price by increasing the number of prospective buyers. A facilitative framework was also considered necessary for farming agreements. Thus the two ordinances have been promulgated
- “The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020” will provide for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers’ produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
- It will promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter–State and intra-State trade and commerce of farmers’ produce outside the physical premises of markets or deemed markets notified under various State agricultural produce market legislations.
- Besides, the Ordinance will provide a facilitative framework for electronic trading and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- “The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020” will provide for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri- business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent manner and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- The above two measures will enable barrier-free trade in agriculture produce, and also empower the farmers to engage with sponsors of his choice.