Agriculture sector reforms are capable of changing the picture of the agricultural industry. Agriculture plays a significant role in the Indian economy. India is an agricultural economy, and from the very beginning, agriculture is contributing a significant portion to our national income. The agriculture sector provides approximately 52 percent of the total number of jobs available in India and contributes around 18.1 percent to the GDP. Agriculture has been the largest provider of livelihood in India and has an essential share in national income. However, the growth in the agricultural sector has been stagnant for the past few years. To enhance the agriculture sector’s growth, the government recently announced a slew of measures including aRs 1.63 lakh crore outlay as a part of the third tranche of the economic package announced under Aatmnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to counter COVID-19 pandemic.
The Narendra Modi government approved amendments to the Essential Commodities Act (ECA). It brought an ordinance that will allow farmers to sell their crops to anyone, which is expected to help Indian farmers in the future and transform the agriculture sector reforms. The ECA amendments will ‘deregulate’ various agricultural commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onions, and potatoes from stock limits, except in the circumstances such as war, famine, extraordinary price rise, and natural calamity. The amendments in the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) will reduce private investors’ fears of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations. The announced amendment will help both farmers and consumers while bringing in price stability. It will also create a competitive market environment and prevent the wastage of agri-produce due to the lack of storage facilities.
Currently, farmers are not authorized to sell their Agri -produce outside the notified Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC). Moreover, farmers are also restricted to sell their produce only to registered licenses of the State Governments. However, the amendments brought in the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) will create a well-organized system where the farmers and traders will enjoy the freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce. It was also promoted barrier-free inter-state and intra-state-trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State agricultural produce marketing legislations. It will open more opportunities for farmers, lessen marketing costs, and eventually help them procure better prices. The said reforms will supplement the existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement system, and both will provide a stable income for farmers.
Agriculture, with its allied sectors, is the largest source of livelihoods in India. The share of the agriculture sector reforms has been declining gradually over the years, but with reforms like amendments in Essential Commodities Act (ECA), the agricultural sector is expected to enhance its role in the Indian economy. The changes announced by the government of India are expected to build necessary agrarian infrastructure in the country, which is expected to resolve several issues of the agriculture sector. With India’s vision of a ‘self-reliant’ nation, our organization Aatmnirbhar Sena is committed to working for the welfare of our country’s farmers. We aim to promote sustainable farming techniques to transform the lives of farmers in India. To complete the production levels of foreign countries, we will equip our farmers with modern agriculture practices. To help our farmers manage their financial requirements, Aatmnirbhar Sena will assist their financial needs by joining forces with banks and other financial institutions to provide them with low-cost loans.