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New farm laws bring a new era of market freedom and can help go a long way with respect to farmers' welfare, states the 2021 Economic survey.
In its chapter titled, 'Recent Agricultural Reforms: A Remedy, Not A Malady', the new farm laws were termed as a 'remedy', building a case for its acceptance among the farm community that has vehemently opposed it.
"The newly introduced farm laws herald a new era of market freedom which can go a long way in the improvement of farmer welfare in India," Bloomberg Quint quoted the report.
The Chief Economic Adviser (CEA), Dr Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian along with his team addressed a press conference after the Economic Survey 2020-21 was tabled in both the Houses of Parliament by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
According to the report, the laws are designed and intended 'primarily' for small and marginal farmers who constitute 85 per cent of the total farmers.
It said that farmers earlier had suffered from agricultural produce market committee regulations, restrictions in marketing their products and in selling agri-produce outside the APMC market yards.
It has also caused many inefficiencies and consequential loss to the farmers. The presence of multiple intermediaries between farmers and final consumers has led to farmers' low realisation, the report read.
According to the report, the new laws would help solve the problem. It will empower farmers and increase their engagement with processors, wholesalers, aggregators, large retailers. Besides, it will also provide a level-playing field and access to modern technology. The risk of market unpredictability will be transferred from the farmer to the sponsor.
The report noted that many taxes levied by APMCs cut into farmers' price realisation and poor infrastructure at the mandis compounds. The report highlighted how the delay at selling produce at APMCs leads to large post-harvest losses, nearly 4-6 per cent in cereals and pulses, 7-12 per cent in vegetables and about 6-18 per cent in fruits.
"It will enable setting up of 10,000 farmer producer organisations across the country which will bring together small farmers and ensure remunerative pricing for farm produce," the report further stated.
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