Years of unfulfilled promises on the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism, over-interference of middlemen, and weak agricultural infrastructure have punctured India’s agricultural sector growth and pushed the country’s poorest farmers into a pool of debt, forcing many to take their own lives.
A few days earlier The Modi Government introduced three farm bills and passed it from the Parliament.
- The Farmer Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020.
- The Framers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm services Bill, 2020.
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
According to the Government, The Farmer will enjoy the “freedom of choice” to sell to anyone and anywhere in the country.
After the news of the farm bill, protests by the opposition parties, who have termed the bills as a “death warrant” for the poor farmers.
PM Modi defined the bills as a “watershed moment” for the Indian farmers. “Farmers have been given new independence in agriculture. They’ll now have more options and opportunities to sell their produce,” he said.
Why Farmers are opposing the Farm bill
The farmers are saying that they will get Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce. They said that they are also worried about the upper hand of the agri-business and big retailers in negotiations. They said that it will eventually lead them to the end of wholesale markets and assured prices, they will have no back-up option. If they are not satisfied with the prices offered by the private buyer, they cannot return to the mandi or use it as bargaining or negotiations.
They are going to protest against this Farm bill, 2020 and they are getting support from the opposition parties. It will be very interesting to see whether the Government will change its decision or will continue with the bill. And the Farmers suffer.