The 3 major farm bills for Agriculture
The farm bill is a legislative package that is passed usually every 5 years and has a significant influence on farming livelihoods, how food is cultivated, and what types of crops are
Grown. The farm bill establishes the framework for our food and farm systems, encompassing programs ranging from crop insurance for farmers to healthy food available for low-income households, from farmer training to support for sustainable farming methods. As a major advocate for family farmers and sustainable agriculture, it is our responsibility to ensure that this critical bill benefits farmers, consumers, and the natural habitat.
The farm bill expires and is amended every 5 years; it goes through a lengthy process in which it is introduced, discussed, and enacted by Congress before being signed into law by the President. Each farm bill has its title, and the current one is named the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. It became law in December 2018 and will expire in 2023.
Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation)
• Commonly known as the APMC Bypass Act, this Act has overarching jurisdiction over the contradictory provisions of the State APMC Acts through Clause 14.
• Clauses 3 and 4 allow farmers to participate in intrastate or interstate commerce of their agricultural output from sources other than the physical markets established by the various state Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee regulations (APMC Acts).
• It forbids the accumulation of any market fee or cess under the State APMC Acts on the transaction of farmers’ produce outside the APMC mandis, under Clause 6.
• The Act gives the Central Government the authority to create guidelines and restrictions following the Act.
Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services
• The purpose of this Act is to establish a legal structure in India for contract farming, in which farmers can engage in a direct arrangement with a buyer to sell their produce at preset pricing.
• ‘Sponsors,’ or enterprises that may enter into an accord with farmers to purchase their farm goods, could include individuals, businesses, firms, and societies. • Farming contracts can cover reciprocally acceptable terms between farmers and sponsors, such as the source of various agriculture resources, agriculture techniques, and volume of production.
• The Act also establishes a three-tiered grievance procedure, including a mediation board comprised of members from the parties to the agreement, a sub-divisional magistrate, and an appeal authority.
Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill
• This Act aims to limit the government’s ability to produce, supply, and distribute certain critical goods by modifying and eliminating products such as onions, potatoes, cereals, and pulses from the list of vital commodities.
• Farm produce stock restrictions will be based on market price increases. They can be applied only if there is a 100% spike in the retail price of horticulture produce and a 50% rise in the retail price of non-perishable agricultural food goods. Furthermore, the rise will be calculated based on the price that prevailed throughout the previous 12 months. Alternatively, the average retail price over the past 5 years, whichever is less.
The agricultural bills seek to eliminate market constraints, hurdles, and middlemen, as well as to encourage corporate involvement in agricultural produce purchasing and warehousing to assure better value discovery and price recovery, so making farming more profitable.