Farms laws 2020 – More benefits or drawbacks? (Page-2)

Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020

  1. Farming Agreement: It creates a national framework for contract farming through an agreement between a farmer and a buyer before the production or rearing of any farm produces.
  2. Minimum and maximum period of agreement: It specifies a minimum and maximum period of Farming Agreement. The minimum period of the farming agreement is for one crop season or one production cycle of livestock, and the maximum period of the farming agreement is upto five years. It also states that if the production cycle of any farming produce is longer and may go beyond five years, the maximum period of farming agreement may be mutually decided by the farmer and the buyer and explicitly mentioned in the farming agreement.
  3. Pricing of Farming Produce: The pricing of farming produce and the process of price determination should be mentioned in the agreement. For prices subjected to variation, a guaranteed price for the produce and a clear reference for any additional amount above the guaranteed price must be specified in the agreement.

Dispute  Settlement mechanism: The Act provides for a three-level dispute settlement mechanism– Conciliation Board, Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Appellate Authority(Like district collector). No civil court will have the power to intervene.

Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

  1. This act is an amended/modified version of the Essential Commodities Act that was enacted in 1955 to ensure the delivery of certain commodities or products, the supply of which if obstructed owing to hoarding or black-marketing would affect the normal life of the people. This includes not only foodstuff, but also drugs, fuel (petroleum products) etc.

2. Removal of foodstuff from essential commodities: Now, this act removes foodstuff such as cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds and oils, from the list of essential commodities, removing stockholding limits on such items except under “extraordinary circumstances – in cases of war, famine, extraordinary price rises, or natural calamities.

3. Stock Limit: As per the amendment, the imposition of any stock limit on agricultural produce will be based on price rise and can only be imposed if there’s– a 100% increase in the retail price of horticultural produce and 50% increase in the retail price of non-perishable agricultural food items.