Justice for Farmers: Repeal "Indian Agriculture Acts"

Justice for Farmers: Repeal "Indian Agriculture Acts"

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Ravi Bansal started this petition to PM Narendra Modi & President Biden

Indian Agriculture Acts 2020, referred to as the Farm Bills have been formulated to facilitate the entry of big private corporations into the farming sector of India. Such changes have been enacted by several other countries around the world, which have inevitably left farmers in a greatly disadvantaged position. 

How These Bills Affect Corporations and Farmers

Farm Bill 3: Storage of food grains. Indian farmers do not have the capacity to store their produce. They sell what they produce so that they can earn and feed their families. This bill is written to protect the big private corporations who would purchase food grains in bulk and, therefore, will have to store tons of grains. SCORECARD: Corporations 1; Farmers 0.

Farm Bill 2: Pricing & resolution mechanism. Disputes between farmers and corporations would be resolved through an identified mediator. This bill takes away the constitutional right of every citizen from approaching the court of law. SCORECARD: Corporations 1; Farmers -1.

Farm Bill 1: The use of electronic media to trade farm produce. The majority of the farmers in India are uneducated and hardly any of them will be able to use electronic media. This bill, therefore, has been drafted for facilitating trade of agricultural produce by big corporations. SCORECARD: Corporations 1; Farmers 0.

Overall Score: Corporations 3; Farmers -1. A lose-lose scenario for the farmers. A win-win for the corporations. Clearly, the farm bills are not for the benefit of the farmers. 

That is, each of these bills has been drafted to facilitate entry of the private corporations rather than to benefit farmers. Furthermore, implementation of these bills and with the entry of private corporations, the current and complex support structure for the “APMC Mandi” system will dissolve, leaving farmers at the mercy of their contracts with big corporations. And the history is replete with examples where the small guy always loses when pitted against well-funded lawyers for the big corporations.  

Ensure safety and livelihood for the farmers and their families who already are very poor: ROLLBACK the farm bills, now.


Farm Bills, in brief

Farm Bill 1: The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020

  • expands the scope of trade areas of farmers' produce from select areas to "any place of production, collection, aggregation".
  • allows electronic trading and e-commerce of scheduled farmers' produce.
  • prohibits state governments from levying any market fee, cess, or levy on farmers, traders, and electronic trading platforms for the trade of farmers' produce conducted in an 'outside trade area'.

Farm Bill 2: Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020

  • provides a legal framework for farmers to enter into pre-arranged contracts with buyers including mention of pricing.
  • defines a dispute resolution mechanism.

Farm Bill 3: Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

  • removes foodstuff such as cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, from the list of essential commodities, removing stockholding limits on agricultural items produced by Horticulture techniques except under "extraordinary circumstances"
  • requires that imposition of any stock limit on agricultural produce be based on price rise.
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