On 27th September 2020, President Kovind gave assent to three farm bills recently passed by the parliament.
The bills are:
- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 – See Gazette Notification
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, – See Gazette Notification
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) bill, 2020 – See Gazette Notification
The government considers these acts to transform agriculture in the country and raising farmers’ income. After the President’s ascent the bills have now become acts and Gazette notification has been released in this regard. All the three acts have deemed to have come into force on the 5th June, 2020.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 permits the electronic trading of farmers’ produce and allows setting up of transaction platforms for facilitating direct online buying and selling of farm products.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act , 2020 provides for a farming agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. A guaranteed price to be paid for the purchase of farming produce will be mentioned in such agreements.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 allows the central government to regulate the supply of certain food items only under extraordinary circumstances such as war and famine.
The new acts aim at creating additional trading opportunities outside the APMC market yards to help farmers get remunerative prices due to additional competition. This will supplement the existing MSP procurement system which is providing stable income to farmers.
The acts will create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will enjoy freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce. It will open more choices for the farmer, reduce marketing costs for the farmers and help them in getting better prices.
President Kovind gives assent to three farm bills passed by parliament