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Big News: 16 States Issues Circular to Implement Centre's Agriculture Reforms

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

According to the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Secretary, Sanjay Agarwal, almost 16 States have issued circulars to implement the Centre's three Ordinances on agricultural reforms, even though it is not necessary for them to issue circulars.

In two webinars conducted by Agribazaar and CEOs India Forum, Agarwal said that the Ordinances, which are self-contained have been promulgated as part of Trade and Commerce and the Concurrent list.

On World Environment Day, June 5th, the Centre Government had promulgated three Ordinances to steer reforms in Indian agriculture. These reforms were seen even more crucial than the 1991 economic reforms of the P V Narasimha Rao government.

Agarwal said that Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yards or physical mandis (markets) would not be touched by the Centre’s Ordinance to allow farmers to sell their products anywhere across the country.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance has a provision for the Centre to develop a price information and market intelligence system for agricultural produce. The Agricultural Marketing Information System (Agmarknet), which provides data of prices of various agricultural produce in all physical markets in the country, will be integrated with the electronic National Agricultural Market (eNAM) from 1 July, Agarwal said.

Stating that eNam had grown over the years, Agarwal said thaf the volume on the electronic platform has touched Rs one lakh crore. However, no priority will be given to eNAM as private agricultural marketing trade areas will run parallel to it. As part of its agricultural reforms, the Centre would want at least 10,000 Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) to come up. These FPOs can become aggregators of agricultural products and in turn will help farmers become businessmen.

The Centre will also change the regulations for Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority to allow village level storages to come up. Such a step will also bring in much needed private investment in storage systems. On fears raised by some industrial users on the reimposition of stock limits for essential items, the Agricultural and Farmers’ Welfare Secretary said that it would not apply to value-addition export and industrial units.

The Modi government is going all out to ensure that the agricultural reforms announced as part of the Rs 20 lakh crore Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan yields the desired results. The Agribazaar and CEO Forums Webinars witnessed, apart from Agarwal, the participation of Food Processing Industries Secretary Pushpa Subramaniam, Department of Animal Husbandry Secretary Atul Chaturvedi and Department of Fisheries Secretary Rajeev Ranjan.

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