New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) The new agriculture reforms will bring ease of living for Indian farmers, particularly for those living in far flung, remote and hilly areas, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said here on Thursday.
He expressed his views during an interaction with farmers, Sarpanches, Panches and local activists of Panchayats falling under different blocks of Ramban and Udhampur districts. He was interacting with the farmers and other people through video conferencing.
“The new farm legislation is a revolutionary new opening for the farming community, particularly for the farmers living in remote areas and border areas, who are faced with constraints of inaccessibility and lack of transport. The new arrangements will open up alternative options for them,” Singh said.
Many of the farmers in the past, Singh said, stored their crop after harvesting and waited for some middleman to pick it up and carry it to the market because they did not have sufficient means or resources for that. However, he said, under the new arrangement, the farmer will be able to avail the option of arranging a buyer through different sources or even entering into a contract agreement for farming.
Contrary to the propaganda by the opposition parties that the Modi government is inclined to close down the existing Agricultural Produce and Livestock Market Committee (APMC) Centres and Mandies, Singh said the fact is that the process of opening new centres is going on even today at different places depending upon the requirement and the demand.
However, he said, the young educated and tech-savvy agriculturist of today cannot be tied down by the earlier arrangement and deserves the freedom to exercise his option.
Thousands of farmers in Punjab and Haryana have staged protests on various occasions asking the Central government to withdraw the farm bills and guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
The agitation is continuing since the two Houses of Parliament last month passed The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 during the Monsoon Session.
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a leader of NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal — which enjoys significant support among the Sikh peasantry in Punjab and Haryana — had resigned from the Union Cabinet, hours ahead of voting in the Lower House on the two earlier Bills on September 17.