Dehradun, Sep 22 (PTI) Uttarakhand Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal on Tuesday welcomed the passage of the farm bills in Parliament, terming them 'historic laws' meant to strengthen farmers and protect their interests.
He said the bills will pave the way for the availability of high-yield seeds and modern farming technology to farmers.
'The bills will protect the farmers' interests by eliminating middlemen and giving them the freedom to sell their produce wherever they like, besides increasing their income,' Uniyal said at a press conference here.
The proposed legislations will ensure that buyers cannot breach their agreement with farmers, he said, adding the Rs 1 lakh crore infrastructure fund will facilitate construction of godowns, cold storage and warehouse facilities by the private sector, immensely benefiting the farmers.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, seeks to give freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis). This, the government says, is aimed at facilitating remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
Farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce under this Act, according to the government.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, seeks to give farmers the right to enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price.
It seeks to transfer the risk of market unpredictability from farmers to sponsors.
Uniyal claimed that by opposing the bills, parties like the Congress stood exposed.
'The Congress in its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls spoke in favour of one nation one market and reform in the essential commodities act,' he said, adding by opposing the farm sector reform bills the Congress is going against its manifesto.
'Parties opposing the bills have proved they are anti-farmers and hand-in-glove with middlemen,' he said and accused them of spreading lies about the proposed legislations to mislead the farmers. PTI ALM NSD