Data | Farmers, new agriculture laws and government procurement

Data | Farm Act wants farmers to sell outside mandis, but most already do so

Farmers raise slogans during their agitation against the new farm laws at Devi Dass Pura village, 20km from Amritsar, Punjab on Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

One of the chief aims of The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 is to unshackle farmers from notified markets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that small and marginal farmers “for the first time, have got an alternative to bargain for the price of their produce. The tradition earlier was to sell in mandis.”

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However, latest available survey data show that most small farmers were already selling their produce to private traders. Also, a majority of them were unaware of the MSP programme.

Not a primary choice

Close to 44% of produce (for 13 items in chart, combined) were sold to private traders in the July-Dec. 2012 period, 32% were sold in mandis and 12% to government and procurement agencies.

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Size matters

A majority of the farmers with a relatively smaller parcel of land (<0.5 ha.) sold their produce to local private traders while a higher share of big farmers (>1 ha.) took their produce to the mandis.

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Will the farm bills give farmers a choice? | The Hindu Parley podcast

Caught unawares

Only 32% of households that cultivated paddy in the July-December 2012 period knew about the Minimum Support Price programme and only 25% knew of procurement agencies.

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Supply and demand

Among the households that were aware of the MSP programme but chose not to sell to procurement agencies, a greater share cited unavailability of infrastructure (procurement agency not available/no local purchaser) as the reason for not going to mandis, while some said they received better prices than the MSP.

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Also read: The Hindu Explains | Who gains and who loses from the farm Bills?

Source: National Sample Survey 70th round

Watch | Why are the agriculture bills being opposed?

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:01:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/data/farm-act-wants-farmers-to-sell-outside-mandis-but-most-already-do-so/article32770889.ece

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