protection and empowerment of farmers with reference to the sale and purchase of farm products. he bill provides a framework for the The provisions of the bill will override all state APMC laws.
Features of the Bill
- The bill provides for a farming agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce, aimed at facilitating farmers in selling farm produce to sponsors. A sponsor includes individuals, partnership firms, companies, limited liability groups and societies.
- Such agreement may be between:
. a farmer and a sponsor, or
. a farmer, a sponsor, and a third party. The role and services of any third party, including aggregators will have to be explicitly mentioned.
- The agreement may provide for mutually agreed terms and conditions for supply, quality, standards and price of farming produce as well as terms related to supply of farm services. State governments may establish a registration authority to provide for the electronic registry of farming agreements.
- The farming agreement may be linked with insurance or credit instruments under schemes of central and state governments or any financial service provider. This will ensure risk mitigation and credit flow to farmers or sponsors or both.
- Farming produce under a farming agreement will be exempted from all state Acts aimed at regulating sale and purchase of farming produce. These products will also be exempted from provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and will not have any stock limit obligations.
- The bill provides that the sponsor will be responsible for all preparations for the timely acceptance of deliveries and will take deliveries within the agreed time.
- The bill requires a farming agreement to provide for a conciliation board as well as a conciliation process for settlement of disputes. The Board should have a fair and balanced representation of parties to the agreement.
- At first, all disputes must be referred to the board for resolution. If the dispute remains unresolved by the Board after thirty days, parties may approach the Sub-divisional Magistrate for resolution. Parties will have a right to appeal to an Appellate Authority (presided by collector or additional collector) against decisions of the Magistrate.