September 20, 2020

Anti-farmer policies of pro farmer politics

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.


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