” One Nation, One Agricultural Market ” – June 8, 2020.

          More than 50% of our population – be it in India or Tamil Nadu – depend on Agriculture for their means of living. Not being able to get suitable prices for their Agricultural products, they sustain heavy losses. Under these circumstances, several farmers dispose of their land through sale at very low prices and leave for taking up other jobs for their means of living.

          If this situation sustains, food production will be gravely affected in future.Time  is ripe for the PM’s promise to make farmers’  income twofold. If it can be fulfilled farmers’ products could fetch a good price in the market. Central government has taken some important decisions to meet this end.

          Even as our government  has been implementing programs like  “One Nation, One Tax” ;  “One Nation, One  Ration Card” , the decision last week for the creation of  “One Nation,  One  Agricultural Market”  included some important end results .

          In the present circumstances, farmers can sell their produce only in Agricultural Products Sales Market Federation and to those merchants registered with the State Governments. However, a sad situation that prevails today lies in emergency sale of products to merchants/businessmen not recognised by intermediary brokers. The price quoted by the businessmen/merchants need to be accepted by the farmers. Sale in other States are also governed by some regulations. To stop this practice, Central Ministry has taken certain steps for direct sale of agricultural produce in any place, to any merchant,  (be it independent institutions,  or exporters,  or processing enterprises,  or Cooperative Organisations) without the regulations of involving Agricultural products market federation.

          Due to regulations restraining refrigeration facilities and processing facilities, private enterprises cannot engage in these. Agricultural products, specially fruits and vegetables get putrefied and farmers are compelled to accept the price quoted by merchants.

          The decision taken by the Government now will enable farmers to finalise deals with merchants even at the early stages of cultivation. In the event of any price increase after the harvest a part of it will go to the farmers also. Apart from this,  cereals, dal varieties, oil seeds, food oil,  onions and potatoes are items removed from the list of essential items. This facilitates savings, transportation, distribution, and sale of these items with freedom. This in turn can help garner direct  investments from private and Foreign institutions. But,  there is strong resistance to this from the farmers and merchants.

          With a view to fulfill all these the Central Government has ordered emergency laws. With regulations within the States and between the States for Agricultural products trade getting removed, farmers can sell their produce to those who quote better prices and benefit.

          This will be a win-win situation for both the farmers and the merchants/organisations who procure from them.

 

   “Dieu avec nous”

   Monday, June 8, 2020 –  7.39 p.m. (IST)

   Tidbit :  ” Investments in agriculture are the best weapons against hunger and poverty and they have made life better for billions of people”.

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