The Union Cabinet on June 3 approved amendments to the Essential Commodities Act, removing APMC restrictions for farmers to deregulate agricultural commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onions and potatoes.
The government also announced promulgating an ordinance to allow farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, and exporters.
While briefing the media, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "Farmers have been freed from the constraints of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC)."
Javadekar said that "landmark decision" to liberalise the regulatory environment for farmers will not only benefit them, but "transform the agriculture sector".
In addition, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the Cabinet had approved The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 in order to ensure barrier free trade in agricultural produce.
"It will not bind farmers to sell their crop only to licensed traders in the APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) mandis of their respective talukas or districts," Tomar said.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 will empower farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters on a level playing field without any fear of exploitation.
“This will go a long way in helping India’s farmers while also transforming the agriculture sector. The proposed amendment to the Essential Commodities Act will allay fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference,” he added.
Earlier, while presenting the contours of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that Centre will formulate a legal framework to enable farmers to sell their produce at attractive prices.
Sitharaman had then said that the framework will include enabling barrier-free inter-state trade as well as e-trading of agricultural produce.