farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers’ produce t is a bill to provide for the creation of an ecosystem where the which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
Features of the Bill
- The bill allows intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers’ produce outside:
. the physical premises of market yards run by market committees formed under the state APMC Acts
. other markets notified under the state APMC acts such as private market yards and market sub-yards, direct marketing collection centres, and private farmer-consumer market yards.
. such trade can be conducted in any place of production, collection, and aggregation of farmers’ produce including: farm gates; factory premises; warehouses; silos and cold storages.
- Farmers’ produce means food items including cereals such as wheat and rice, oilseeds, oils, vegetables, fruits, spice, and sugarcane. It also includes: products of poultry, piggery, goatery, fishery, dairy; raw cotton and jute and cattle fodder.
- The bill allows farmers, farm producer organisations as well as anyone who buys farmers’ produce for: wholesale trade, retail, end-use, value addition, processing, manufacturing, export or consumption, to engage in such intrastate or interstate trade.
- However, to trade in scheduled farmers’ produce (agricultural produce specified and regulated under state APMC Acts), an entity must be either:
. a farmer producer organisation or agricultural cooperative society, or
. a person having permanent account number under the Income Tax Act or any other document notified by the central government.
- The bill permits the electronic trading of farmers’ produce in the specified trade area. An electronic trading and transaction platform may be set up to facilitate the direct and online buying and selling of farmers’ produce.
- A person transacting with a farmer will be required to make payments to the farmer on the same day, or within three working days in certain conditions, for any transaction of scheduled farmers’ produce.
- The bill prohibits state governments from levying any market fee, cess or levy on farmers, traders, and electronic trading platforms for any trade.
- The parties involved in a trade-related dispute may apply to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate for relief through conciliation. The Magistrate will appoint a Conciliation Board and refer the dispute to the Board. If the dispute remains unresolved after 30 days, the parties may approach the Magistrate for settlement of the dispute. The parties will have a right to appeal against the decisions of the Magistrate before an Appellate Authority (Collector or Additional Collector nominated by the Collector).