The largest farmers’ cooperative IFFCO has welcomed the step of the removal of the APMC act for the benefit of farmers. It’s been years since Dr U S Awasthi, Managing Director, IFFCO had been urging governments to finish the monopoly of APMC regime by scraping it so our farmers could get good returns on their yield, reads a press note sent by the cooperative titan.
Farmers should be able to sell their product anywhere in the country. Indeed it’s a positive decision for rural India and farmers. In 2014, the IFFCO MD had applauded the Government’s decision of giving some relaxation in the APMC act, the note reads further.
Again in 2016 also Dr Awasthi welcomed the announcement of unified agriculture market to end the monopoly of APMC regime to empower the farmers, it adds.
Welcoming the decision the IFFCO MD tweeted “I welcome the step of the removal of the APMC act for the benefit of farmers. It’s been years since I am urging governments to finish the monopoly of APMC regime by scraping it so our farmers can get good returns on their yield. Congratulations to PM Sh @narendramodi Ji & @nstomar ji”.
The MD has also retweeted his old posts dating 2014 and 2016 on the issue in which he has raised the demand for breaking the limitations of APMC for the benefits of farmers.
It bears recall that in the Wednesday Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra several landmark decisions aimed at transforming the agriculture sector were taken.
The most important decision was an amendment to the Essential Commodities Act. This means commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes will be removed from the list of essential commodities.
This will remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations.
The freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute and supply will lead to harnessing economies of scale and attract private sector/foreign direct investment into the agriculture sector. It will help drive up investment in cold storages and modernization of the food supply chain.
Experts see this as a visionary step towards transformation of agriculture and raising farmers’ income. While India has become surplus in most agri-commodities, farmers have been unable to get better prices due to lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing and export as the entrepreneurial spirit gets dampened due to the hanging sword of the Essential Commodities Act.
It bears recall that farmers suffered from various restrictions in marketing their produce such as they could not sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards. They had also the compulsion of selling their produce only to registered licensees of State Governments.
The ordinance basically aims at creating additional trading opportunities outside the APMC market yards to help farmers get remunerative prices due to additional competition. This will supplement the existing MSP procurement system which is providing stable income to farmers and will pave the way for creating One India, One Agriculture Market.