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Discuss the concerns raised by the farmers and the states on the reform measures announced recently by the government to deal with the issues in the agricultural marketing.

Topic : GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

GS-3: Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

4. Discuss the concerns raised by the farmers and the states on the reform measures announced recently by the government to deal with the issues in the agricultural marketing. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The question is amidst the current agrarian reforms the government is trying to bring in.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concerns raised by the farmers and the states on the reform measures announced recently by the government to deal with the issues in the agricultural marketing.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The ambitious initiative government to bring about far-reaching reform in agriculture has drawn criticisms on a large scale, mainly over fears that the free market philosophy at its core could spell the end of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for produce that has so far been centrally procured by the government.

Body:

Amendments have been proposed to the Essential Commodities Act. It is opined that the amendments to the Essential Commodities Act remove all cereals, pulses, oilseeds, potato and onion from trade restrictions and price control — which would ultimately benefit only the middlemen and traders.

Lok Sabha passed the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

Discuss the primary concerns that have been raised.

Present relevant suggestions to address the issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Small farmers have been remarkably productive and shored up the economy even during a pandemic. Without strong institutional arrangements, laissez-faire (no economic interventionism) policy may harm lakhs of unorganized small farmers.