Agriculture in India
The Dawn of the New Era.
India is known as the Land of Agriculture and Farming as it has always been one of the most important and underrated sector contributing to the functioning of the country. As per Registrar General of India & Census report 2011 the total farmers or cultivators population of India is 118.7 million (2011) & 144.3 million agricultural workers/labourers which consist 31.55 of the total rural population.
Though agriculture supports a major division of the Gross Domestic Product of India, the operations that handle the working don’t always show a positive result when the life of a farmer is discussed. A recent survey by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi, and released by NGO Lokniti, “State of Indian Farmers: A Report”, has found that a major proportion of Indian farmers are not satisfied with their condition and would like to shift to cities if opportunities arise.
The recent development in this country regarding the technology and the growing prices of products often puts the farmers in a difficult situation in life. When examined carefully, flood problems, crop failure draughts, low income, poor knowledge of the products, pest attack, depressed economy etc were some important factors that highlight the challenges faced by them. Study reveals only 14% of the Indian farmers have the basic knowledge of technology and the appropriate information about the developed reforms and rest are still unaware Their behaviour varied from region to region like irrigation hampered the function of the east whereas low productivity hindered the income of farmers in the south.
The Central Government introduced the three Bills on food and agriculture namely, The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, and The Farmers Empowerment and Protection Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill.
The bills aim to benefit the farmers by empowering them to decide the price of their produce, which were earlier determined by the traders. These bills are set to encourage private investments and technology introduction in the sector. The base of the bills stands on the idea of creating employment opportunities and working on the economy altogether. The reforms are brought to accelerate agricultural growth through private sector investment in building agricultural infrastructure and supply chains for Indian farm produce in national and global markets without overriding the APMC’s position of authority.
Under the new ecosystem introduced by the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, farmers and traders will enjoy the freedom of choice about sale and purchase of their produce. The bill intends to create a barrier-free, inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations. It will facilitate remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels to promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce.
Through the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 the Agriculture Minister aims at providing a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers. This move targets farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent way.
Farmer’s take (why are these bills opposed ?)
Even though these bills aid the crucial and necessary problems faced by the farmers, producers, there has been a consistent tension that has surfaced. Many farmers and political parties are under the impression that the ordinances are not only against the interest of the farmers but are also against the Constitution. The reason for some to term these bills as “anti farmers” is because they feel they have eradicated authenticity and flights of the farmers leaving them at the mercy of the big corporations. Among many pain points that came forward in this argument, MSP and the position of APMC was mainly focussed on.
They stand firm on the fact that these bills will render the current MSP procurement system ineffective and the authority of APMC baseless. Along with these objections, the interference of big corporations and risk of undermining food security came under the light as well. They fear these bills while offering protection to farmers against price exploitation, do not prescribe the mechanism for price fixation where the freedom given to private corporate houses could lead to farmer exploitation.
The Dawn of the New Era
Keeping in mind the necessities of the farmers, a lot of stages are needed to be enhanced like, long hauls, warehousing, fair trading, an open market and so on, as balancing both, the produce and the trade becomes difficult and the farmers and they often tend to miss out on various opportunities and information that may help them in their produce or dealing later.
To maximize the benefits enshrined in these bills and to help safeguard farmer’s interest, A B2B Digital Agricultural Marketplace, specifically designed for farmers and businesses to make the trade easy, fast and transparent is required. Aggrigate, a Jaipur based Startup aims to act as a bridge and firewall by extending its services to farmers by providing a platform where they can effortlessly market their produce.
Aggrigate provides an all-encompassing platform where many Agricultural services and procedures converge to improve the condition of the farmers.
This mobile Application both available on Android and iOS:
1) Provides a place where the farmers have the access to all types of business which will help in eliminating intermediaries and makes it easy for farmers by managing the supply chain reinforced through data analytics;
2) Ensures that the end-user and the buyer are well informed through an AI-enabled platform to predict and process the commodity type and delivers best in class quality check thus letting farmers sell their commodities pan India with confidence;
3) Delivers the necessary information through intelligent and automated processes required to make an informed decision, like soil condition, favourable weather forecast, crop selection according to market trends to help farmers maximise their productivity and profits.