Agriculture Current Affair 16 January 2022

Farm reforms: Myths and realities

The repeal of the three newly enacted farm laws by the government has set back the whole reform process. Because, it could not explain the benefits to some farmers. It has also engendered a fresh thinking about the reform process. How to garner wider support on the reform agenda?

The three farm laws were enacted to bring reforms in agriculture markets, which are largely being controlled by the state Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs). These APMCs, by default, act as regulatory barriers to competition in agriculture market. Thus, there had been a long pending demand, rather consensus across the political spectrum, for reforms to enhance competition among the buyers of agriculture produce so that farmers realise a better competitive market price. Several States have been reforming APMC laws, albeit very slowly, despite the presence of politically strong vested interest groups.

It seems that the repeal saga is sending a wrong political message against such necessary reforms, which can result not only in governments’ inaction, but also action in a wrong direction. Rajasthan, for instance, is reportedly planning to reverse its decision to allow trade outside of the APMC markets, though there are a few private mandis in existence. A few days back, Maharashtra issued notices to farmer producer companies for carrying out trade outside of the AMPC mandis.

Assam government to set up Agricultural Commission

Assam Government will set up an Agricultural Commission with experts and agricultural scientist to explore options for commercial agricultural production.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma laid foundation stone of College of Agroforestry & Biodiversity and Bengal Florican Conservation, Research & Ecotourism Site at Naba Dihira in Baksa district. He also inaugurated 107 numbers of Anganwadi Centres constructed from MGNREGA fund 2021-22 at the programme.

“State Government will set up an Agricultural Commission with experts and agricultural scientist to explore options for commercial agricultural production in Assam. It will give recommendations for increasing production and farmers’ earnings” the Chief Minister said in his speech.

MP agri varsity develops new varieties of oats, wheat, rice

A state-run agricultural university in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur has developed new varieties of oats, wheat, rice and niger crop, which are suitable for production in other states as well, an official said on Saturday. The Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (JNKVV) has developed two varieties each of oats and wheat, one type of rice and three varieties of niger, which have been notified by the Centre as being suitable for production, the university’s vice-chancellor Dr P K Bisen said.

The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare had issued a gazette notification on January 3 in this regard, he said.

“Seeds of these new crop varieties will be made available to farmers shortly. This will ensure quality production of crops and generate more income,” Bisen said.

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