Impact of farm bills on markets and farmers: Five indicators to track -Sayantan Bera

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published Published on Sep 21, 2020   modified Modified on Sep 22, 2020

-Livemint.com

* The upcoming kharif harvest season will put the new regime to test and farm unrest may spread beyond Punjab and Haryana if crop prices take a hit

NEW DELHI: The new legislations that look to rejig India’s vast and fragmented agriculture markets together with amendments to the Essential Commodities Act are significant structural changes brought in by the Narendra Modi government. So far protests by farmers have largely concentrated in north-western India, in Punjab and Haryana, but the legislations are likely to have far reaching impact over the next few years across states.

The government hopes competitive markets and higher private investments in the food supply chain will improve farm-gate prices. Here are five indicators to watch out to understand the near-term impact of these reforms.

Firstly, over the next few weeks, freshly harvested kharif crops will start arriving in the markets. The number to watch out for, is by what extent arrivals in existing mandis drop. For instance, if arrivals drop significantly by say, over 25% compared to last October (the peak arrival month), this would mean trade is shifting out of APMC yards to take advantage of the zero taxes and fees provision of the new regime. But without regulatory oversight and monitoring of transactions outside APMC mandis it remains unclear how the welfare impact on farmers will be quantified. If arrivals show no change year on year, that would mean a status quo for now.

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Livemint.com, 21 September, 2020, https://www.livemint.com/news/india/impact-of-farm-bills-on-markets-and-farmers-five-indicators-to-track-11600671019115.html


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