قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / World / Modi reforms can help turn India into a powerhouse for food exports

Modi reforms can help turn India into a powerhouse for food exports



Farmers throw packs of cut wheat on a field in the countryside of Uttar Pradesh, India, on April 21.

Photographer: Prashant Viswanathan / Bloomberg

Supply Lines is a daily newsletter that tracks the impact of Covid-1

9 on trade. Register here and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest pandemic news and analysis.

Of all the controversial reforms that have emerged in the market, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the latest laws on the liberalization of farm sales may be the most far-reaching.

At a confused and unruly session last month, parliament passed three laws that some believe could pave the way for India’s global food trade, while others fear it will ruin the livelihoods of millions of farmers. Within days, village groups and opposition leaders began public protests.

INDIA-ECONOMY-AGRICULTURE

Farmers’ organizations are holding an anti-government demonstration in Bengaluru on September 28.

Photographer: Manjunath Kiran / AFP via Getty Images

The transition to a free market for agricultural products is at the heart of a system that directly affects more than half of 1.37 billion people in the country, changing the state control that millions of families rely on but that restrains the nation’s efforts to cultivate one of the largest fertile lands. on earth. If they succeed, India will not only be able to feed itself, but also become a major exporter of food.

“We need private sector investment in technology and infrastructure for Indian agriculture to realize its full potential and compete better in the global marketplace,” said Siraj Chaudhri, managing director and CEO of National Collateral Management Services Ltd. But the government must make clear its intention to defeat the skeptics. “This is a major policy change that affects a large and vulnerable part of the population.”

Why Fashion Laws of agricultural liberalization Farmers are worried: QuickTake

India processes less than 10% of food production and loses about 900 billion rupees ($ 12.3 billion) a year due to losses due to insufficient storage of refrigerators, said Amitabh Kant, chief executive of the government’s think tank NITI Aayog.

Modi has a long summary of controversial policy moves, including a ban valuable banknotes, the largest tax reform since independence in 1947 and the world’s strongest coronavirus blocking rules. The latter seems soft in comparison: a set of amendments to the laws governing the purchase, sale and storage of agricultural products.

However, there were eight opposition deputies suspended due to unruly behavior when a new bill was passed and groups representing farmers and political parties organized demonstrations, gatherings and tractor rallies in grain-producing countries such as Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.

INDIA-POLITICS-AGRICULTURE-PROTEST

Farmers use tractors to block railroad tracks during a protest on October 13 near Amritsar, Punjab.

Photographer: Narinder Nanu / AFP via Getty Images

Shiromani Akali Dal, a longtime supporter of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party, which has rarely opposed Modi coalition decisions, leave the government. He said farmers were afraid The measures will eventually kill the government’s crop price regime and leave them at the mercy of large corporations that will control the market.

Modi and his ministers say the concern is unfounded and the price guarantee program will continue. His administration has even raised some minimum prices for winter crops to try to reassure farmers that price support is not a threat.

This is a very emotional topic in India. The government sets minimum prices for more than two dozen crops and buys mostly wheat and rice for its welfare programs, as well as some legumes and oilseeds, to prevent sales to farmers in poverty. Mass subsidies help distribute basic products to the poor through a network of more than 500,000 stores at fair prices.

The issue has become even more acute due to the pandemic. Disruptions of farms and supply chains have revealed weaknesses in the state social security system, which is hampered by bureaucracy, underfunding and archaic means of distribution.

Covid-19 returns the scourge of caste to millions in India

A woman collects a subsidized portion of grain at a state-owned store in rural Madhya Pradesh.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh / Bloomberg

Farmers note that while government-guaranteed prices are often considered benchmarks, private buyers are not required to pay them.

“We are disappointed,” said Charangit Singh, who grows rice, wheat and vegetables on his farm in northern Haryana. “The government must ensure that all farmers, whether they sell them in designated grain markets or to private buyers, receive at least a minimum support price.”

Contract agriculture




Source link