Cabinet approves ordinance to promote barrier-free inter-state trade in agriculture

New Delhi [India], June 3 (ANI): The union cabinet on Wednesday cleared an ordinance to pave the way for the creation of an ecosystem where farmers and traders will have the freedom of choice in sale and purchase of agri-produce.

The government's intention to bring this significant reform in the agriculture marketing was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month when she gave details of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Giving details about 'The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020', Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Wednesday that the ordinance will create a convenient and free environment for farmers in which they will have the freedom to buy and sell agricultural products according to their convenience.

"With this ordinance, direct marketing by farmers will eliminate the middlemen and the farmers will get the right price for their produce. The risk associated with the fluctuations in the price of the produce will be reduced," Tomar said at a media briefing on cabinet decisions.

An official release said the ordinance will create "an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will enjoy the freedom of choice in sale and purchase of agri-produce".

"It will also promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations. This is a historic-step in unlocking the vastly regulated agriculture markets in the country," the release said.

The ordinance will open more choices for the farmer, reduce marketing costs for the farmers and help them in getting better prices, it said.

The release said the ordinance will also help farmers of regions with surplus produce to get better prices and consumers of regions with shortages get lower prices.

The ordinance also proposes electronic trading in transaction platform for ensuring a seamless trade electronically.

The farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce. There will be a separate dispute resolution mechanism for the farmers.

The release said that the ordinance will "certainly pave the way for creating One India, One Agriculture Market".

The ordinance aims at creating additional trading opportunities outside the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (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. It will certainly pave the way for creating One India, One Agriculture Market and will lay the foundation for ensuring golden harvests for our hard-working farmers," the release said. (ANI)