It has been less than six months since the new farm laws came into force, and the state governments, agri-entrepreneurs, and agri-tech players are already utilizing the newly implemented laws to improve the life of farmers.
Under the new farm laws, the Madhya Pradesh government auctioned the house of a trader who has not yet paid the money to farmers for produce. In Gwalior district of MP, a trader named Mangram Parihar had paid the value of farmer’s produce and ran away. The farmers registered an FIR against the accused and the district administration was quick to act.
The house of the trader has been auctioned to pay back to farmers while his land-holding is underway for auction. The locals told the district administration that he does not have ownership of the whole land, therefore, only half of his land is up for auction as of now.
Under the new farm laws, the agriculture sector would be treated as any sector, and the traders or corporates would not have any upper hand over farmers. If the trader or corporate is able to payback to farmers for the produce that they have purchased, the administration has the authority to sell the assets to pay back farmers.
The three farm laws, which were promulgated as ordnance in June and later passed as bills in the monsoon session of the parliament, opened up the agriculture sector. It was a 1991 moment for Indian agriculture, and the entrepreneurs responded very positively to the government’s move.
As per data from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the number of new companies registered in Agriculture and allied sectors grew by 35 per cent in the first eleven months of the ongoing calendar year, when compared to the same period with the last year. Moreover, most of these companies were registered between June and November.
The entry of corporates and corporatisation of the existing players will increase the amount of capital in the farming sector as well as increase the accessibility of capital to the farmers. So far, the credit to the agriculture sector was one of the lowest in India despite several government diktats, because the no financial institutions would not be willing to give loans to an entity whose principal aim is to not work for a profit.
So far, the purchase of farmer’s produce directly by corporates was illegal, and therefore, corporates used to shy away from direct involvement with the farmers. However, with the new bills in place, the corporates will make value addition in the farm products and push for exports, which will end up benefiting the farmers.
The entry of corporates in the farm sector is essential because the farmers do not have skills to negotiate in the international markets which are heavily protected by Western governments and corporates. The entry of Indian corporates in the farm sector will not only directly link the farmers with the Indian market, but with the international markets too. And, this will help the Indian farmers to become rich, just like the farmers of Western countries.
Moreover, the newly implemented farm laws allow the entry of corporates but are tilted in favour of farmers. So, whenever a trader of corporate wrongs the farmer, the administration will act under the farm laws and ensure that the farmer gets the value of produce, as seen in the aforementioned case in Madhya Pradesh.