ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Government’s Retreat from Agricultural Policy

Experiences from Bihar

The Government of Bihar repealed the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act in 2006 intending to encourage private parties in agricultural marketing, which was supposed to provide more options to farmers to sell their produce. The experience from the state suggests that repealing the APMC Act did not persuade private entities to set up agricultural markets. This saw the number of mandis remaining stagnant, and with poor agricultural market density combined with negligible public procurement, it led to a lower price realisation by farmers in the state.

Parts of this article are based on the PhD thesis of the author submitted at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Despite widespread opposition, the union government recently passed three farm acts in Parliament: Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act (ECA), Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act (FAPA) and Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act (FPTCA).

The ECA excludes specified agricultural products from the list of ­essential commodities, and this step ­allows the hoarding of agricultural products with some nominal conditions (Kumar 2020). The FAPA legally enables contract farming within a national framework and makes state-level legislations inapplicable (Rawal et al 2020)The FPTCA, 2020 concerns changes in agricultural marketing policy and moves beyond the traditional APMC–mandi ­set-up. Bihar’s example has been used by some intellectuals to support these acts (The Print 2020).

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Updated On : 23rd Jan, 2021
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