The recent stock market performance is seeing great churning. The IT and pharma sector are proving to be the new shining sectors during the coronavirus epidemic. While more or less all other sectors have suffered heavily these two sectors have remained better and insulated from the epidemic and in fact have shown positive growths.
Besides, Agriculture remains the most important sector in the country and is expected to do well with a normal monsoon this year. The Narendra Modi government is doing everything possible to make sure that the farmer’s of the country come out of the vicious circle around him and therefore has taken a big political risk by making sure that the farmers can sell their goods directly to anyone, anywhere and at any place in the country. This move has given a big jolt to the Akali Dal who have moved away from the NDA govt after this bill was passed in the parliament. However, farmers communities across the country will benefit through this move which is more important.
But agriculture is a big sector and the challenges here are far and many. We are pleased to share here a note prepared by one of the premier agency engaged in doing pioneering work for rural upliftment by engaging directly with farmers and taking their inputs.( National Council for Climate Change Sustainable Development and Public Leadership (NCCSD) Ahmedabad-380 0014 ) . We are sure that the work carried by NCCCSD will prove to be beneficial for the overall development in transforming the rural sector under its present leadership . Pl find the a brief summary of the report by NCCCSD below.
Transforming Rural Economy
Three new statutes are part of the overall framework for transformation of the agricultural sector and aims at increasing income of farmers by ease of doing business namely production and sale of his produce.
Statute related APMC is enabling farmers to have more options.
He can sell his produce to :
Pvt Trade / Indus
Earlier restriction of selling through APMC is going away.
Second he has now mechanism to recover his dues and payment is to be made in three days.If not paid he can go to Deputy Collector- SDM – locally.He need not retain a lawyer and visit Civil Court for grievance redressal.Under APMC Act there is no such process.
Third he can sell at farm to Private Players (industry or ). Loss from farm-gate to APMC Market point is between 15 per cent to 40 per cent.His that much income can be enhanced if at farm gate.
Fourth contract farming enable him to produce as per need of market and he need not worry of inputs – seeds – fertilizer – pesticides.He can get better price with low risk.We have huge number of share croppers.Land owner does not like to make investment.This make low yield.That will change.As per one estimate range upto 40 per cent in urban centrist districts.All these / farmers will benefit.Livestock sector – cooperative dairies buys at prescribed rate and provides all other services.Rates undergo revision every year.Hence fear that farmers will be exploited is mis-placed. Whether farmers make on his land or as share fear that land will go CORPORATE is wrong as there is no land transfer as per Act.Land remains with original owner.Already we have contract farming in Sugar cane, Mangoes, Sapotas etc.
Amendment in Essential Commodities Act puts him on par with other non-farm producer.So far he was restricted.There is equity here.
As regards APMC – they remain as they are.There is no interference in their work.In fact they will become real business organizations and compete in market which will increase price for farmers’ produce further.They may also become professional and hire qualified persons like Milk Producers Union.
Monopoly APMC Trader is going away
Collection of cess outside APMC goes away – they use it to get for doing nothing.Traders of APMC even can sell anywhere in the country.
Only a selected compete in the market
Monopoly of APMC Board – to keep number of traders goes away as any trader can .
Unlike Milk cooperative APMC do not share profit with farmers.Some do provide facilities to farmers.Now all will do provide facilities to attract farmers to sell in APMC.Some may also start collection from village level.Briefly, dependence of small farmers to sell only through APMC goes away.They can sell where they can get best price.
Due to more competition new employment will be generated as private players will recruit young persons for purchase and technical guidance.New brand Rural Manager will come into existence.Agriculture graduates will get jobs to provide technical guidance.
Local industry at village level for agri. processing can be profitable as no need to go to APMC time and again for permission.Local wealth and employment will be generated.
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for transformation Sector. He took series of steps to restructure the sector.Agriculture suffered from in-equity and lack credit to farmers, lack of business infrastructure funds, fishermen and animal holders were not prioritised so on and so forth.Therefore, call for doubling income of farmers and vision to ensure that sustainable livelihood is provided to farmers – which means that a farmer’s family has enough to live, that his income does not become less – irrespective climate or other adversities and that farmers income increase gradually and doubles.For this series of transformational actions are introduced along with schemes:
Direct cash payment in farmers account.
Soil Health Card – for sustainable agriculture.
Kisan credit – ease of getting credit
Infrastructure Fund – storage in Farm, Warehousing, Cold Chain, Transport etc.
Special Support Livestock, Fisheries & Horticulture & provide multiple sources of income.
Support Micro Enterprise by rural youth.
Re-skill, Up-skill farmers.
Support Women farmers.
E-platform for marketing.
FPO – one each for block
Integrated Irrigation Scheme
There is a belief with many of us that farmers are illiterate and do not know their interest.We have now above 60 per cent literacy and every farmer family has minimum two members who are educated, well versed through mobile – about what is happening around the world.Farmers, therefore, will sell their produce where they get maximum return and their information level of current affairs is same as of anybody else across the country.
Most importantly these measures will strengthen farmer – particularly poors who are left out of development process.It will reduce gap of price paid to farmers and price paid by consumer – currently gap is from 40 per cent to 100 per cent and enhance farmers income.It will reduce transit loss which 25% to 40%.Both together can enhance income of farmers by 50%.This is a win-win situation for both farmers and urban consumers and will transform rural economy.Entire economy have effect multiplier effect and rapid.1
asheesh shahOctober 18, 2020
Authors comment: Agriculture sector needs more attention and the govt is moving in the right direction. Hopefully we will be on a better pedestal going forward.