Sunday, June 13, 2021
Home Politics Opposition has created fear psychosis in the minds of farmers: Professor Ashok Gulati

Opposition has created fear psychosis in the minds of farmers: Professor Ashok Gulati

Professor Ashok Gulati, a well-known agricultural economist, busted the myths surrounding the farm laws that are being opposed by 'farmers' who are demanding the government to repeal them

In an interview with journalist Jyoti Malhotra at the Print, Professor Ashok Gulati, a well-known agricultural economist, busted the myths surrounding the farm laws that are being opposed by ‘farmers’ who are demanding the government to repeal them.

Professor Gulati said pointed out that there has been a commuication gap between the government and the farmers regarding the laws. “Well it’s unfortunate to see that there is so much of opposition to these farm laws. My take on this is that they have not been communicated properly to the farmers”, he said.

The professor who is an Infosys chair on agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) said that the communication gap has been fully exploited by some political parties and activists to create a fear psychosis among the farmers. Professor Gulati highlighted that the process of marketing reforms in agriculture began in 2003 under Vajpayi government when a model law was sent to state governments in order to contemplate on liberalising agriculture marketing.

System worked better with direct buying and selling

He said that during the lockdown when the APMC Act was withdrawn, the government saw the possibility of doing away with mandatory sale of agricultural produce in mandis as the supply chains remained unaffected even after withdrawal of the Act. The APMC Act was withdrawn to avoid crowding of farmers in mandis. Direct sale and purchase of agricultural produce helped the agrarian sector sustain during the lockdown period.

“Only sector that has not suffered during the Covid period despite the severest lockdown is agriculture. That is from where they (government) found that if they allowed direct buying and all that and proper supply lines are built then the system will function much better rather than this mandi system”, explained Professor Gulati.

Contrary to the opposition theory that Parliament has hurried the farm laws, Professor Gulati said that enough discussion has taken place on farm laws for 17 years. He pointed out that even the 1991 reforms were not properly discussed and the industry kept opposing them for a long time. However, he acknowledged that the opposition had a right to question if they felt that the bills were not discussed enough.

Only 6 per cent farmers gained from the MSP

On the question that the small farmer might get exploited by private buyers under the new laws, Professor Gulati claimed that more the 90 per cent of the farmers sell their produce to private buyers. “Only six percent of the farmers have gained from the MSP even when MSP has existed since 1965”, he said quoting the Shanta Kumar panel report and the NSSO 70th round situation assessment survey.

Punjab farmers biggest beneficiaries of government subsidies

Debunking the narrative that farmers from across the were protesting against the farm laws, Professor Gulati stated some figures and said that out of total 146 million farmers households in the country, Punjab has only 1.09 million farmer households. He said that the farmers from Punjab were the biggest beneficiaries of the MSP.

Busting the misconception that Punjab farmers, who are the ones mainly opposing the farm laws, were the biggest contributors to the buffer stock, he said that Punjab farmers contributed less than one third during the last wheat season. He said that Madhya Pradesh was the top contributor to the common pool in wheat category. “But whatever the Punjab farmer brings in the mandi, you know market arrival, of that almost 95 per cent is bought by the government. Nowhere else this happens”, said Professor Gulati.

Those protesting not farmers but those who will lose under the new laws

Professor Gulati said that MSP was just a notional price, an indicative price and not a legal price. And it has been so since it was introduced. He explained that under the MSP system only the government is mandated to buy at the MSP whatever quantity it purchases and private buyers could not be forced to buy at MSP.

He said that those protesting against the farm laws were not the farmers but actually those who would lose under the new laws. “Who are the losers? Not the farmers”, he said. Regarding the demand of some states about the MSP, Professor said that the if the states have a problem with the central laws, they can make their own decision with respect to MSP and see for themselves how long the system will work.

Speaking on contract farming, Professor Gulati elaborated that there are three main models in it viz. the MNCs, the Co-operatives and the domestic private sector. Explaining why there was a need for private participation in procurement process, he gave the example of milk and poultry sectors which are flourishing with private buyers.

He said that during the period from 1965 till 1990s wheat and rice formed the staple food but with rising income, dietary habits have changed with more nutritional food items like milk products, vegetables and fruits being added to the plate. Thus there is a need of diversification in the agriculture sector. “Punjab is 20 years behind a diversification, at least”, claimed Professor Gulati.

He said that the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh told him that he had said on 1985 that Punjab must diversify from wheat and rice to high value agriculture. Professor Gulati highlighted the flaws that exist in policy-making in the country that focused less on productivity and more on votes. He said that the agricultural reforms envisaged under the farm laws are in the interest of the country.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Searched termsfarmer protests
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Culture of political violence in West Bengal: How the Islamist challenge can turn an already very bad situation into much worse

The outbreak of political violence in West Bengal since Mamata Banerjee's victory shows no signs of abating.

How a ‘liberal’ filmmaker went from criticising Rahul Gandhi to saying ‘I am on your side’ and what it shows

Congress and their loyalists are still not able to get over the shock of not only losing 2019 elections, but BJP outperforming them and itself from the previous term.

Ayodhya to be developed as a religious, Vedic and solar-powered sustainable city, says UP CM Yogi Adityanath

Based on Sanatan traditions, Ayodhya will have ancient culture, heritage and traditions with sustainable modern facilities.

Karnataka: Ibrahim steals cow from his Hindu neighbour’s house, slaughters and sells the meat at local market

Ibrahim slaughtered the animal in his house and then went ahead and even sold the slaughtered meat at a local market.

Three women accused of forcefully converting Dalit girl to Islam, video of her reading namaz sent to father: Report

The man who allegedly kidnapped the girl has threatened the father to forget his daughter and said that he is ready to compensate him with 40-50 thousand rupees.

Kerala Minister extends support to sedition accused model Aisha Sultana, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan would help her fight Centre

Coming out in support of Lakshadweep filmmaker Aisha Sultana, Kerala Minister Sivankutty said the actor-turned-model need not worry about the case as she has Kerala government's support.

Recently Popular

Leaked Clubhouse chats: Here is what senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh promised to a Pakistan-origin journalist about Kashmir

During conversation with a Pakistani-origin journalist on Clubhouse app, Congress leader Digvijay Singh promised to reinstate Article 370

‘Decline is on’: Pakistanis furious after Saudi Arabia eases ‘guardianship rules’ for women

Saudi Arabia has allowed single, widowed, and divorced women to stay independently without the prior approval of male guardian

‘Scientists were threatened Anthony Fauci and his gang will destroy careers and reputation’: Indian experts make explosive claims after emails become public

Anthony Fauci has found himself in the eye of the storm after thousands of his emails were revealed to the world.

Honour killing of Pakistani girl in Italy: Victim’s cousin arrested in France, parents who fled to Pakistan and two other missing accused wanted by...

Ikram Ijaz, one of victim Saman Abbas’ cousins, was arrested in Nimes in France and was later handed over to Italy

India not to allow return of four Kerala-based women who had joined Islamic State, at least 3 of them are converts: Details

Indian Govt is unlikely to allow four women from Kerala who had left to join Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP).

TV actor Sushant Singh’s troll account suspended by Twitter, restored later

Team Saath Official was the go-to Twitter account for left-liberals and rabid Islamists to silence nationalist voices in the country.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

255,564FansLike
552,643FollowersFollow
24,300SubscribersSubscribe