Agricultural reform necessary, and still possible

Is the repeal of the three agricultural laws the end of agricultural reform in India? There is no reason for such pessimism. An old saying in several Indian languages ​​holds that all roads lead to Kashi. In other words, there are many routes to Kashi. If one is closed, others are waving. In fact, we have argued that there are better ways to carry out the necessary agricultural reform than that proposed by the three laws which were hastily passed and which would now be repealed. Before disrupting the status quo, the beneficiaries of the status quo, at least a majority of them, must be directed to a higher outcome than they already have, and as an achievable goal, rather than an abstract possibility and pious. The reform implicit in agricultural laws ignores this; and now delineating that top result should be the priority.

The government had announced massive investments in the agricultural sector, to link the farmer to the market and to the final consumer, so that farmers capture a higher share of the final price paid by the consumer than at present. These investments must materialize. Technology incentive and extension services similar to those that have been put in place to wean farmers from traditional varieties of cereals and orient them towards high-yielding varieties and higher-quality agriculture must be put in place to wean farmers. farmers of redundant and ruinous grains and to which India still suffers from a shortage – legumes, oil seeds, fruits and animal proteins – and of new crops, whose traditional growing areas are disrupted by climate change and for which India’s various agro-climatic conditions provide a hospitable environment, whether it is cocoa, vanilla or coffee or various varieties of flowers.

Stabilizing the availability of electricity in rural areas and replacing subsidized inputs with income support will improve resource efficiency and encourage value addition. The organization of producer cooperatives or agricultural enterprises is vital to enable farmers to interact profitably with large agribusiness companies. The same goes for the ban on export bans. All of these measures can be undertaken without agricultural laws.

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