In September 2020, the President of India gave his assent to the farmer’s bill 2020, passed by parliament in the same month. The aim of the government with the three farm bills was to provide freedom of choice to farmers in the country. As per the government, the farmers will get several marketplaces. 

However, the terms of the bill didn’t go well with some agricultural leaders and unions. To oppose the new farmer’s bill 2020, there were massive protests and even a Bharat Bandh scenario. 

If you are someone doing CLAT preparation, you must know the Farmer’s Bill 2020 and why farmers are protesting against it.

What is Farmer’s Bill 2020? Key Provisions

The government issued three new laws or bills for farmers, as described below:

  • Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce(Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020

According to this law, the farmers have the right to form agreements with companies and marketplaces to sell their products for a period of time decided in the contract. 

What this means is that companies and farmers can collaborate under an agreement, where they can finalize the price of the products, period of time, standards and quality of products, and other legalities. 

  • The Farmer (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020

Through this bill, the government aims to enable farmers to sell their produce to any individual or entity they want. They are not restricted to selling the produce to only APMC (Agriculture Produce Market Committee) approved marketplaces or mandis. Farmers have the options to sell inter-state, intra-state, or even online. 

  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020

As per this act, the companies and markets are not allowed to hoard certain commodities that are considered essential. For example, if a food item or grain comes under this act, the entities can’t collect it. This is because hoarding can cause shortages in the market. Later in the shortage scenario, these entities sell the products at an increased price.  

Farmers Bill Protest

The government wanted to help small and marginal farmers in the country to find opportunities to bargain and have more ways to sell their produce at a reasonable price. 

However, things didn’t go well for the commission agents and mandis because the new laws allow farmers to sell their products to anyone, such as retail giants and exporters. If farmers sell the products online or through any other means, the agents and mandis will be at loss. 

When the government procure any crop from the farmers, it is done on the basis of an MSP set by the government. If the MSP system is handed to the companies and farmers, the farmers fear that they will not be able to negotiate with the companies directly on the prices. 

Farmer Unions in Haryana and Punjab stated that the new farmer bill would pull apart the minimum support price (MSP) system. While the opportunity to sell to companies under a contract is good, over time these companies may dictate new terms. With this, the farmers fear that they may get less price for their produce. 

With the protest, the demand of the farmers from the government is to simply withdraw the new farm laws. They say that these laws will deregulate the sale of their produce. The farmers want the MSP system to continue.

Wrapping Up:

Farmers bill 2020 is one of the most important topics for general knowledge and current affairs in CLAT courses and exam 2021. To ensure good marks, you must cover the entire topic thoroughly with all aspects, provisions, and reasons behind the protest.