And for a Friday after some Momentous Reforms, unshackling and liberating Indian Agriculture, some thoughts….. some hopes…..
If 1991 was the year when Indian Industry was liberated from the Herculean License Permit Raj, then 2020 will go down in History as year of Indian Agriculture. Farmers can cut loose from the handcuffs and chains limiting their potential. Three big changes:
- Essential Commodities Act which was promulgated in the days following massive food shortages and cereal rationing in 1955, has completely lost meaning with India’s Godowns overflowing with food grains. This year again a record production of 286 million tonnes of food grains. Production and storage of cereals, pulses, oil seeds, Onions, Potatoes will no longer be controlled by rent seeking Babus. Cold storage and private investment will stabilise the supply-demand situation.
- APMC Act – As of now Farmers are allowed to sell only in notified APMC markets to buyers who are licensed by the state Politicians. Completely one sided, full of nepotism, corruption and greed. Seller is powerless. Now barrier free inter and intra state movement allowed and Agri produce can be sold to the best price markets anywhere in the country.
- Contract farming – Farmers with small holdings, a hundred plus such farmers together can form FPOs and can now engage with Aggregators, Processors, Wholesalers and consistently access domestic and export Markets, avail insurance, get remunerative prices and create wealth.
What Global manufacturing did to China, Indian Rural sector which includes Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries can do to the post COVID World. Within the next decade, India can meet the Food and Nutritional requirement of the World, particularly the Developing countries, partnering them, helping them and unlike China, with no ulterior motives or imperialistic designs.
Let us all support this massive change strengthening Indian Agriculture, promoting reverse migration from overcrowded cities to the serene and pristine countryside, the caring way, the Agtech way, the SEEGOS way.