Resource centre on India's rural distress

Crop risks, environmental damages, hunger and the 2020 farm laws -KAS Mani

-Down to Earth

Improved access to new markets, better yields and higher income need to safeguard environmental sustainability and farmers’ indebtedness

The ongoing agitation by farmers on the borders of Delhi provides an opportunity to flag concerns about various aspects in the agriculture sector, including the environment, society, economy, food security and risk coverage for farmers.

Several commentators have already spoken about the 2020 farm laws, supported by statistics, and experience. Many of these claims are not unfounded and should be seriously examined by all concerned.

Let us look at some of the socio-ecological concerns that need a serious relook.

‘De-risking’ agriculture

The farm laws limit the risks in the agriculture sector to pricing mechanisms while climate, environment and food security concerns are not taken seriously.

The missing element in the entire policy process is the absence of ‘mitigation standards’ for different agro-ecological zones.

Such a norm will help define the role of farmers, private players, market and insurance companies to fulfil risk protection compliance. Risks can only be minimised but never altogether averted.

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