In a move to improve financial health of farmers and achieve a competent agricultural market with proper judicial framework, the government has asked states and UTs to implement the agriculture produce and livestock law.
“The government has made concerted efforts to bring qualitative changes in the life of farmers. To fulfil farmers’ dreams, we have sent the law to states and Union Territories for legislation,” said a top agriculture ministry official.
The government has formulated a model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act, 2016 to all states. It has also proposed to implement the farmer-friendly Agriculture Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2018 in rural areas.
Based on this draft Act, state legislatures can enact law on contract farming as agriculture falls under State list of Constitution. It is promotional and facilitative Act and not regulatory in its structure. “It covers contract farming in agriculture, livestock, dairy and poultry products,” the official said.
The Act lays emphasis on protecting farmers’ interests, considering them as weaker of the two parties entering a contract. It also takes into consideration services contracts along the value-chain, including pre-production, production and post-production.
Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said in his blog the move is aimed at improving financial condition of farmers in some way or the other in their respective regions.
The government has improved awareness among fa-rmers through new initiativ-es. “In addition to farming, the government is emphasising on livestock, fisheries and development of water bodies,” the minister said.
The Rashtriya Gokul Mission, which is aimed at conservation and development of indigenous bovine species, is an integral part of development of the agriculture sector, he said. It will also benefit small and marginal farmers and landless farm labourers. He said 161 indigenous species have been registered across the country and ICAR was working in the field for further identification.