Corporate Lobbyist Deepak Talwar says farm bills will revolutionise agriculture, Mandis inefficient

Corporate Lobbyist Deepak Talwar says farm bills will revolutionise agriculture, Mandis inefficient

Amidst heavy criticism by the opposition, the Parliament cleared three farm bills, received the nod of the President recently

The three farm bills — recently received the ascent of the President of India, are a landmark move to save Indian agriculture and the farmers from the shackles of corruption that routinely caused insurmountable problems for the sector, a seasoned industry analyst has said.

“The bills, unlike what the opposition is claiming, will benefit the farmers in a country where agriculture is the biggest occupation,” said veteran market analyst and economic tracker Deepak Talwar.

He said that the Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 are meant to give Indian farmers their rights, their voices.

Deepak Talwar said that these bills, after becoming the law of the land will corporatise the sector, “They will kill the gigantic sector of middlemen who have always exploited the farmers, hoarded farm products and inflated prices.”

“The changes in the Essential Commodities Act to remove the cap on stock holdings will trigger new dawn for the agriculture sector,” Talwar said.

“Many opposition parties are saying the enactment of the two laws will lead to the abolition of minimum support price (MSP). The announcement of MSP by the government says everything,” he added.

Talwar said it has been observed that the hopes of the farmers for generations — never translated into ground reality in India. “Now, for the first time, the farmers will fully enjoy the benefits of their profession, and they will harness the true potential of Indian agriculture.”

Talwar further said the focus of the current government is now on improving the acreage under cultivation. “This is a great move, now farmers would be encouraged to diversify into allied activities. If you see it realistically, hiking the MSP and direct financial assistance are fresh measures that will chart a new approach.”

He said that the government promises freedom to the farmers from the exploitative Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) mandis and from the middlemen who charge a commission from trade in these mandis. “If you ask them, the farmers would say the functioning of the mandis is inefficient, opaque, politicised, and often controlled by cartels. The attempt to reform the functioning of the mandis is not new and has been in process for the last two decades. The bills will not change it all,” said Deepak Talwar.

Experts believe that the said bills will not only give greater freedom to farmers to sell their produce, they will also diminish the levels of intermediaries, if not abolish it completely. In the past few weeks, the green revolution region — UP, Haryana, and Western UP has witnessed few demonstrations and opposition. Minimum Support Price (MSP) has been the cornerstone in the region, hence, the demand to include it in the law has been vocal — to ensure the government does not do away with the provision in the future.

Moreover, Deepak Talwar, while speaking on the core issue of ‘over employment’ in the agriculture said that it is very important to alter the business model of the sector. Today, it employs over 40 percent of the nation’s workforce while generating only 15 percent of India’s GDP — making it least remunerative as compared to other sectors.