Q) The government’s laissez-faire agriculture policy needs strong institutional arrangements to protect lakhs of unorganised small farmers, who have been remarkably productive. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Why this question?

  • There is a strong opposition from farmers against three Bills that seek to replace ordinances issued in June, on key aspects of the farm economy — trade in agricultural commodities, price assurance, farm services including contracts, and stock limits for essential commodities. 

Introduction: Give a brief info about the government's laissez-faire agriculture policy based market reforms.

Body: Discuss the following aspects:

  • Benefits of the 
    • Bill on agri market 
    • Bill on Contract Farming
    • Bill relating to commodities
  • Related concerns:
    • Threat to MSP procurement system which is providing stable income to farmers.
    • Market accessibility for small farmers: Small farmers form the majority and their access levels to markets under the APMC system are at the rate of one for an area of 434.48 sq. km on average — well below the recommendation of the National Commission on Farmers (NCF), at one market for 80 sq. km. 

Conclusion: Summarize and suggest a way forward based on the recommendation of recommendation of the National Commission on Farmers (NCF).