In recent times, Government of India has taken many measures in order to increase the income of farmers. But, Covid-19 pandemic has further aggravated the problems faced by agriculture sector. During this pandemic, it has become a herculean task for government to provide relief to rural India specially people who are engaged in agriculture and allied activities.
Government has brought two ordinances under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (आत्म निर्भर भारत अभियान) in order to support farmers by raising the income as well as imparting efficiency and effectiveness to agricultural marketing. Whole ecosystem of agriculture has been severely impacted because of Covid-19 crisis and hence central government has speed up the reform process to facilitate intra state and interstate trade of agriculture produce. Government understood the need of farmer to sell his agriculture produce at the place of his / her choice at a better price by increasing the number of prospective buyers.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020
By this ordinance, government wants to create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy full freedom to sale and purchase agriculture produce at remunerative prices by harnessing alternative trading channels. Also, government wants to break the shackles of physical premises of markets or deemed markets notified under various State agricultural produce market legislations. This will help in barrier free inter–State and intra-State movement of agricultural produce. This ordinance also talks about facilitative framework for electronic trading.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020
Government brought this ordinance specially to protect and empower farmers when they are engaging for their produce with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services. This will bring more transparency as it will help in establishing remunerative price framework.
Overall, government wants to empower farmers and explore new avenues by breaking the traditional methods of marketing and selling. Simultaneously, government wants to protect farmers so that they are not being exploited by crony capitalist. With reform agenda in focus, government wants to increase the contribution of agriculture in economy when majority of people are employed in this sector.