Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal will address a rally at Jantar Mantar today against the Centre’s proposed Land Acquisition Bill.
AAP had also planned a protest march to Parliament from Jantar Mantar, however, Delhi Police did not issue a permission for it as Section 144 is in place in New Delhi due to the ongoing sessions in the Parliament.
The rally is expected to attract a crowd of over 10,000, including farmers from Jharkhand, Bundelkhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana, Odisha and Poorvanchal belts of Uttar Pradesh.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh berated the central government and declared that AAP will protest strongly against the Land Acquisition Bill.
“The BJP says that they have made necessary changes in the Act. This is nothing but a joke. What compelled the BJP to change the provisions of the Act, just after nine months in power. This is nothing, but a move to benefit its industrialist friends,” said Singh.
Earlier, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had tried to use the sensitive issue of Land Bill to gain political mileage after coming back from a 56-day-long sabbatical.
AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, ahead of the prospective rally, cut a remark on Rahul Gandhi, and said that the Gandhi scion is only trying to gather political mileage from the issue.
The Modi government in order to double the income of farmers by 2022 announced a slew of measures last week, and it is widely expected that these reforms will benefit farmers who are reeling under the Covid-19 crisis. Post Coronavirus as state reopens farmers might benefit.
IANS spoke to Ashok Dalwai, chairman of the Committee for Doubling Farmers’ Income, on the issue of strategic reforms initiated by the government and their importance to the farm sector.
He said the alternative market provided to the farmers will give them more earning power. The reforms will unshackle the agriculture value chains by deregulating the essential commodity trade and introducing a Central law to ease inter-state farm trade, effectively overriding the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis that have shown resistance to change in the past.
“We are not ending the APMC, but reforming it. Till now APMC was regulated by the state governments, now the private sector can establish its own APMC which will give an alternative market to farmers,” Dalwai said.
He said the way the telecom sector provided options to the consumers to choose the operators of their choice, in the same way the private AMPC will give farmers the choice to sell their produce at a better price anywhere in India. “The proposed amendment to the Essential Commodities Act of 1955 will ensure seamless movement of farm produce not only inter-state, but also within the state. Anyone having a central license can buy and sell anywhere,” Dalwai said.
Dalwai said many states have already adopted the reforms and more will join in the future. “The new law related to APMC will be definitely adopted by the state governments and the Centre will provide the framework for inter-state trade of agricultural produce. If a farmer in UP wants to sell his produce to a market in Karnataka, he does not need to go there. He can do so online. The way e-NAM works for APMC mandis, e-platform will work for such farmers.”
He said the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act has been initiated with the sole purpose to provide better prices to the farmers. The government has also decided to free certain categories of agricultural products such as cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onions, and potatoes from the government’s control and lend more predictability to even export policies.
On the question of challenges due to Covid-19 with regard to doubling farmers’ income, Dalwai said, “The farmers have not been impacted due to the pandemic. There will be no problem in achieving the target of doubling farmers’ income by the year 2022.” (IANS)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday informed that a corridor of medicinal plants would be created on the banks of the Ganga and for this National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) would identify 800 hectare of land near the river.
It forms an important part of a slew of initiatives announced by the minister towards development of agricultural infrastructure, capacity building, logistics and legislative reforms.
The NMPB has supported 2.25 lakh hectare area under cultivation of medicinal plants. Now, 10,00,000 hectares will be covered under herbal cultivation in next two years with the outlay of Rs 4,000 crore.
The move is expected to lead to Rs 5,000 crore income generation for farmers. It will also develop a network of regional Mandis for medicinal plants. (IANS)
Mango growers are likely to suffer huge losses in this season due to the nationwide lockdown amid Covid-19 pandemic. According to experts, if the situation persists, mango growers could suffer almost 100 per cent losses.
“In major mango producing states, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh, the situation remains grim,” said Insram Ali, president, Mango Grower Association of India.
He said that in this mango season, not only has the market shrunk but production is also expected to be around only 70 per cent of last year due to untimely rains in northern parts of the country.
Ali said that in Maharashtra, the price of alphonso has dropped by more than half this year.
“The price was around Rs 1,500 per dozen last year but this year, the price is ranging around Rs 400-500 per dozen. Similarly, the export of the mango to the Middle-Eastern countries and Europe has come to a standstill and there is no hope in near future,” he said.
According to him, the country produced around 1 crore 75 lakh metric tonne of mango last year. This year the production is likely to remain close to 1 crore metric tonne. The low production is mainly due to untimely rains and hailstorm in the northern parts of the country, particularly, Uttar Pradesh.
In Uttar Pradesh alone, nearly 25 per cent of mango crop is expected to be lost due to rain and hailstorm. The farmers in this state may lose nearly Rs 3,000 crore while overall mango growers across the country may lose Rs 6,000 crore this season.
Insram Ali stated that due to lockdown, the biggest problem was of labor and transport.
“Earlier, when the season would start, buyers would buy whole orchard but this season we are not getting buyers for our orchards. The main problem is labor-even the buyers are not getting labor. Also, transportation is not available in required number,” he said.
Insram Ali says that even the government has, so far, not shown any interest in helping the mango farmers. He demanded that the government should intervene and decide a minimum support price for the mango crop. (IANS)