On a day when the long-drawn talks between protesting farmers and the central government seemed headed for another deadlock, NITI Aayog member and eminent agriculture economist Ramesh Chand said that if farmers feel that everything isn’t correct with the agriculture laws then they should come forward and discuss all such issues in the acts.
“Everyone is convinced that agriculture sector badly needs reforms but if we start seeing them from a political angle then it leads to confrontation,” Chand told reporters at the conclusion of the three-day National Dialogue on Indian Agriculture in 2030.
The dialogue was organised by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in association with the NITI Aayog.
Strongly defending the three legislations, Chand said that if the acts are repealed today, then nobody will have the courage to bring any formidable reform in the farm sector and the condition of agriculture will worsen in the coming years.
He said both the central government and the Supreme Court have been quite accommodative and flexible in their approach but now it seems to be a clash of egos and nobody can do anything about this.
“Within agriculture, sectors that were liberalised such as poultry, dairy, fisheries have consistently clocked higher growth than those that haven’t been reformed, so to say that reforms aren’t needed in farming is wrong,” Chand said.
He also discounted the notion that once the reforms kick in, the APMCs will wither away.
“In states where fruits and vegetables have been delisted long back has their arrivals gone down in mandis, it isn’t. Therefore, to say that these laws will lead to dismantling of the mandis is wrong,” Chand said.