Agriculture World

Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Reforms to Help Farmers Earn Better Prices amid Lockdown

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia

Announcing the 3rd tranche of measures on the mega economic stimulus to tackle the coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that the government will amend the Essential Commodities Act to enable better price for farmers. Agriculture foodstuff including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato will be deregulated, Sitharaman said.

Marketing Reforms to Provide Marketing Choices to Farmers

Moreover, the government is stressing to bring a new law to implement agriculture marketing reforms to provide marketing choices to farmers. The law will provide adequate choices to farmers to sell produce at an attractive price, said the Finance Minister.

Farmers are currently bound to sell their produce only to the licensee in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), said the minister, a restriction that did not exist for any other industrial production.

Moreover, Sitharaman Said, “A central law will help farmers by giving them adequate choice to sell their produce at an attractive price, conduct "barrier-free interstate trade".

One Nation, One Market

In the "one nation, one market" policy, farmers can sell produce anywhere in India to get best price for their produce. Such a system ends fragmentation of markets, even within a state.

To reassure farmers on the price and quality of their produce, legal framework will be created to enable them to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers and exporters in a fair and transparent manner.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister announced a Special economic and comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh Crore - equivalent to 10% of India’s GDP on 12th May 2020. He gave a clarion call for Self-Reliant India Movement. He also outlined five pillars of Aatmanirbhar Bharat – Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography and Demand.

This included a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package comprising free foodgrain and cash to poor for three months announced in March, and Rs 5.6 lakh crore stimulus provided through various monetary policy measures by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

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