Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

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Centre takes steps to bring the farmer closer to the market

2 min read

The Central Government on Wednesday introduced a set of ordinances to create a national market for farm produce and allow contract farming to protect farmers from price risks with the aim of helping them improve earnings and boost investments in agriculture.

The landmark steps are expected to create borderless markets for millions of Indian farmers and achieve the government’s goal of doubling farm incomes by 2022.

As part of its plan, the cabinet approved the ‘Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Facilitation and Promotion) Ordinance, 2020’, which it said will pave the way for ‘One India, one agriculture market’. The ordinance aims to create an environment of barrier-free trade within and between states, and allows farmers to sell their produce to any buyer in the country, including on electronic platforms.

Currently, farmers are forced to sell their produce at state-regulated market yards, also known as Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs), where trader cartels determine prices in an opaque manner. Fewer buyers and a tightly regulated trade with too many entry barriers often lead to farmers receiving a lower price. Also, restrictions imposed by states had so far prevented seamless movement of farm produce across the country.

In the new regime, the farmer will have the freedom to sell outside AMPCs, and any buyer can purchase directly at the farmer’s doorstep. “There will be no tax on such trade and buyers will not require a licence (a PAN card will suffice),” said agricultural minister Narendra Singh Tomar. The minister added that all disputes related to such trade (relating to price, payments and quality of produce) will be resolved by sub-divisional magistrates and district collectors within a span of two months.

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