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Is Farm bill 2020 in favour of farmers or big corporate players?

Even tough government facing protest from opposition and a section of farmer's organisations, the Monsoon Session of the Lok Sabha passed three Bill's

1. Bill on agri market Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020

What government says about bill

* this bill will create an ecosystem where farmers and traders enjoy the freedom to sell and purchase farm produce outside registered 'mandis' under states' APMCs.
* this bill will promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade for farmers produce
* This bill will help to reduce marketing/transportation costs and help farmers in getting best prices for their produce

What farmers think and Opposition saying about bill

* this bill may eventually end the MSP-based procurement system.
* Due to this bill States government will lose revenue as they won't be able to collect 'mandi fees' if farmers sell their produce outside registered APMC markets.
* What will happen to 'commission agents' in states if entire farm trade moves out of mandis?

2. Bill on contract farming

The Farmer (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020

What government says about bill

*Due to this bill Farmers can enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price.
* Marginal and small farmers account nearly 86% of total farmers in India. They can gain more profit by aggregation and contract farming.
* this bill will help farmers to transfer the risk of market unpredictability from themselves to sponsors
* This bill will enable farmers to access modern technologies and get better inputs to produce better quality farm produce.
* due to this bill Farmers can engage in direct marketing by eliminating intermediaries for full price realization

What farmers think and Opposition saying about bill

* it’s really very obvious that Farmers in contract farming arrangements will be the weaker players due to this they can't negotiate what they need
* there may be possibility that the sponsors may not like to deal with small and marginal farmers
* Being big private companies, exporters, wholesalers and processors, the sponsors will have an edge in disputes.

3. Bill related to commodities

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020

What government says about bill

* To remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities. It will increase the limits for imposition of stockholding limits on such items except under "extraordinary circumstances" like war
* This provision will definitely gonna attract private sector/FDI into farm sector as it will remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in business operations.
* To bring investment for farm infrastructure like cold storages, and modernizing food supply chain.
* this bill will create competitive market environment and cut wastage of farm produce.

What farmers think and Opposition saying about bill

* Price limits for "extraordinary circumstances" are so high that they are likely to be never triggered.
* Big companies will have the freedom to stock commodities- it means they will dictate terms to farmers which may lead to less prices for the cultivators.

Though the government intention purely looks like to help the farmers and increase farmers income, there are serious concerns which they should address like
-> Guaranteed Minimum Support Price (msp)
-> Avoiding the monopoly of private players
-> Solving the disputes between farmer and private companies without any biases

But the big question is there any other option available for farmers to resolve their dispute?
Yes arbitration is the answer for this question
Arbitration is a option available for parties to resolve their dispute outside the Court with help of arbitrator, it is in fact a legal technique for the resolution of dispute outside the courts, opt by parties

those who want to avoid the normal lengthy process of local courts for settlement of disputes. wherein the parties go to arbitrator(s) who gives decision (the “award”) they agree to be bound.

So, a smart thing a person can do before signing into any contract is register with PrivateCourt.

  • PrivateCourt keeps all its procedures transparent.
  • Detailed analysis of the case.
  • Non- biased judgement through Arbitration.
  • The Arbitrator will itself go through a conflict check test which will make sure that the arbitrator has no connection with any of the parties.
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So, why delay?

- By Vanashri morey,

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