In this article for The New Indian Express, Shankkar Aiyar discusses the anti-Farmer policies of pro-farmer politics.
Typically in politics where a party stands on issues depends on where it sits. Objective analysis demands allegiance to facts. Have APMCs served the farmers’ cause? In January 2019, the parliamentary standing committee on agriculture — including MPs from Congress and Akali Dal — observed APMCs have “become hotbed of politics, corruption and monopoly of traders and middleman” and “are not working in interest of farmers”.
Consider the logistics. India’s agri-sector spread across lakhs of villages is served by just 2,477 APMCs and 4,843 sub-markets. As for government procurement, only a third of the wheat and rice output is bought by government — bulk of the wheat from five states and rice from seven states — and the rest is bought by private yards. In fact, 22 states already allow direct procurement by private parties — and there are no APMCs in Bihar, Kerala, and Sikkim. Frequently, the MSP functions as the cap not the floor for farmer remuneration with farmers selling for less than MSP.
Read the complete article here.