Farmer bills and Some Ideas for the farming sector: Logistic to Kibbutz and the European CSA system


Farmer bills and Some Ideas for the farming sector: Logistic to Kibbutz and the European CSA system

The central government has recently come up with 3 bills in the agriculture sector. The objective of these bills is to provide the farmers the required freedom to sell their products to anywhere and to whomever thus making them free from the obligations of selling them to the corrupt Mandis and the nexus of that have exploited the farmers for decades. Questions were raised by the largely farmers community from Punjab and Maharashtra to the extent of Akali Dal moving out of NDA. The main concern of the agitating communities is about the future of the Mandis and the MSP given to farmers for their products which they think will get diluted or turned meaningless in the future.

To be fair it’s a bit early to say something like the mandis will be closed or the farmers will not get the fair prices as they may succumb to the lure of advance money as well as family pressures to sell their goods cheaply to big corporate houses and lobbies. The bigger anxiety is that a lot many people will get out of business from the Mandis as well the Aaditya community (middleman) which has been the backbone between the mandis and the farmers for decades.

To completely brush aside such concerns of Mandis and prices will also be a bit premature. The entry of corporate and large business will indeed come up with new challenges for which the government has to remain prepared. Since these are non reversible initiatives therefore the developments need to be closely monitored going forward every step.

We think that while this may be a challenge in the short run and possibly in the long run i.e. in the worst case but it also offers some other avenues of growth for them. Let’s say the corporate houses and big businesses come to villages and buy out the farm products. This will need good logistic services as the farmer can sell their goods to anyone who offers a better price. We hail from a town in Burhanpur known for her Banana Crop and we know that there are big middlemen who make the killing while the farmers get the minimum prices. Most of the middlemen are from Maharashtra or what is called Khan Desh ( Bhusaval, Jalgaon belt) and those areas. But with the new bill even businesses from Down south and Punjab and other places will be able to come to the town and make purchases. This will require a whole new type of Agro based infrastructure from ware houses to logistic support. It will offer not only a business opportunity for people with some money and risk taking ability but also jobs to the people in the area. Presently these facilities are very poorly developed and are also ruled by unprofessionalism. We expect that once the big business comes to the rural domain it will naturally push these types of services with better professionalism driven resources and manpower.

The government must start working on such concepts so that the Agriculture bill does not leave people high and dry but offers alternate sources of development and realignment.

2. The concept of Kibbutz:

India being a large and diverse country there is a need to continuously device innovative means and mechanisms to find solutions for her growing problems. Obviously for any country of our size and with a vast rural, semi urban and even urban population whose first instinct is to get shelter , food and clothes cannot be expected to be very aware of urban issues , hygiene , education etc.

Therefore the policy makers will have to be always one step ahead in identifying the problems and finding solutions which is not the case as of now and therefore we see the farmers commiting suicides and the farmers getting a raw deal from kashmir to kanyakumari. That way the left governed seems to be more active as the Kerala govt has recently come out with a new policy whereby all vegetables prices have been assigned a minimum price below which one cannot sell.

Earlier Maharashtra invested heavily in cooperative based sugar factories which has become the backbone of the state politics and made leaders like Sharad Pawar what they are. We are reminded of an old practice that is part of Israel rural communities but is also now taken to the urban state.

A collective community, traditionally based on agriculture, the first kibbutz was called Deganya and was founded by pioneers in 1910. Today, there are over 270 kibbutzim in Israel and they have diversified greatly since their agricultural beginnings with many now privatized. Regardless of their status, the kibbutz offers a unique insight into Israeli society, and are fascinating places to visit. A is a type of settlement which iskibbutz
The kibbutz is what we can say is the cooperative way of living in the rural sector. We request the sangh and other nationalist forces to explore the possibilities of establishing this concept of living together in our rural areas also. [1]

Although the word “kibbutz” calls to mind isolated, agricultural settlements, now considered by some to be a part of Israel’s past, Kibbutz Mishol is no ordinary kibbutz. Urban kibbutzim such as Mishol pride themselves on being integrated into the city and focus on the values of socialist communal living rather than agriculture.

3. After the end of the Second World War Europe has seen an unparalleled “modernisation” in agricultural production with technological progress and a green revolution, supported by an EU framework known as Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This has increased productivity tremendously, provided food security and reduced food prices.
As a reaction to this, new modes of agriculture have developed or re-developed in Europe since the 1970s, especially a recent shift to certified organic production, local food supply chains (LFSC) and new consumer-producer relationships. A promising approach addressing sustainable, local production and direct and partnership-based consumption has become known as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). In contrast to intensive industrial farming and centralised food industries, CSA promotes a sustainable and diversified pattern of regional and local production with closer connections and solidarity between farmers and consumers, and with a high care for public health and environment as it is recommended by the Agricultural and Rural Convention (Agricultural and Rural Convention 2010).

A CSA consists of a community of individuals who commit support (in different ways) to a farming operation, thereby getting involved in food production. Support can be physical, financial and consumption-related and is often a long-term commitment. of collective and territorial schemes and organisational forms. One common trademark is that the initiatives promote sustainable and organic farming, fair prices, local solutions and a strong community connectivity with agriculture. Furthermore, the communities guarantee to share the benefits as well as the risks. [2]
Summary and Conclusion:
We cannot make the post long and so keeping it short we have presented a few ideas for the policy planners and to think over them. Naturally these are not exhaustive but can be taken as innovative templates or at best ideas to take it forward with due diligence.

While the agro bill is progressive in its goals and objectives it will come up with its own challenges. The government and policy makers must remain alert to such developments and thnh ahead of the curve. Such ideas can be a good way to identify solutions and work on them timely.

Asheesh Shah
Author: Asheesh Shah

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