Anger among people against the three farm laws by the Central Government has been increasing since September. For the last three days, thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have been sitting at the border of the national capital with the neighbouring states.
When these farmers failed to get the support of their state governments other than the Punjab government, the farmers decided to pressurize the Union government for which they came to Delhi. State governments of UP and Haryana have failed to convince farmers however governments of Rajasthan and Punjab have extended full support to their agitation. Farmers are demanding that the Union government either withdraw the three legislations or guarantee them the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops by amending in the existing laws or introducing a new one.
Farmers do not accept the three new legislations passed by the parliament which are
— The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation
— The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance
— Farm Services and The Essential Commodities (Amendment)
Protesting farmers believe that the laws will open agricultural sale and marketing outside the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis for farmers, permit inter-state trade, and provide a framework for electronic trading of agricultural products.
According to the farmers because the state governments will not be able to collect market fee, cess or levy for trade outside the APMC markets, the mandi system will deteriorate to its end and leave farmers at the mercy of corporates.
Farmers fear that pulling down the mandi system will bring an end to the MSP of their products. Farmers are demanding that the government guarantee MSP in writing, otherwise the private corporate houses will exploit them.
The arhtiyas (commission agents) and farmers have a camaraderie and bonding that goes back decades. On an average, at least 50-100 farmers are associated with each arhtiya, who manages farmers’ financial loans and ensures proper prices for their crop. Farmers believe that the new laws will end their relationship with these agents and corporates might not be as sympathetic towards them when needed.