Yogi Govt Ushers In Sweeping Agriculture Reforms For Substantial Cost Saving To Farmers, All You Need To Know

Yogi Govt Ushers In Sweeping Agriculture Reforms For Substantial Cost Saving To Farmers, All You Need To KnowUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government has introduced sweeping reforms in the agriculture sector which includes abolishing the mandatory condition to bring farm produce to state mandis and has also scrapped the mandi tax, Times of India has reported.

This was a result of the state government abolishing a few provisions in the Uttar Pradesh Krishi Utpadan Mandi Act via an ordinance passed by the cabinet on Wednesday (6 May).

Here’s What The Reforms Are

The state government has freed farmers from having to compulsorily bring their farm produce to state mandis for sale. It has also abolished the mandi tax and opened up private mandis for small and marginal farmers.

The state agriculture department has also allowed farmers to sell a total of 46 fruits and vegetables at their fields itself without having to bring them to mandis.

Cold storage and warehouse owners can now also sell their stored product from their units.

How These Reforms Will Help The Farmers

The biggest benefit for the farmers would be freedom from the clutches of big traders and middlemen, while also incurring them substantial cost savings.

The ability to dispose off their product at the fields itself means that the farmers would not have to pay the 2 per cent mandi tax, while also saving 15 per cent which they otherwise had to spend in loading and unloading their products at mandis. The farmers will also save on transportation costs.

The government estimates that farmers would now be able to save costs to the tune of 20 per cent.

As they would no longer be required to come to state mandis, the farmers would now be free to explore newer more lucrative markets to enhance their income.

As per Agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi, the state government has also called upon the private sector to establish a farmer-consumer platform which will allow the farmers to sell their produce in small markets and mandis near their fields.

Creating A New Focus Point

Another key aspect of this development is that the focus now appears to have shifted to addressing the farm-fork gap instead of simply focusing on raising farm production which left open the potential to create a glut in the market.

The Union Budget 2020-21 too had focused on improving the “farm to fork model” by introducing the Kisan Rail and Kisan Udaan schemes for farmers to get access to newer domestic and international markets.

Major Central Agriculture Reforms In The Pipeline?

This announcement by the Uttar Pradesh government comes amid reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has instructed his top Ministers and Bureaucrats to work on major agricultural reforms - to be introduced post the Covid-19 pandemic.

These reforms are expected to include cutting down on archaic regulations, raising farm-gate prices, unifying domestic markets and integrating the farm economy into global value chains.

The Prime Minister has also called for reforms in the mandi system to ensure a “one nation one market type scenario”. The mandi system is currently responsible for controlling the buying and selling of farm produce.

One of the end goals of the reforms would be to try and ensure higher farm productivity at lower cost.

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