Representatives of forty Farmers’ Unions who were invited by Union Agriculture Minister for talks participated in a dialogue today at Vigyan Bhawan with Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar , Minister of Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Railways and Commerce Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash. Senior officials from the Agriculture Ministry and the Ministry of Food Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution also participated in the dialogue. This was the fourth round of talks which was held in a cordial and frank atmosphere. The Unions have agreed to further participate in the next meeting on 5th December.
At the outset of the talks Union Agriculture Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to the welfare of the farmers. He requested the representatives of the Unions to present their point of view and the flag the issues which they felt were contentious. The representatives of the farmers unions raised the question of the constitutional validity of the three laws. The Government side explained the constitutional provisions under which the Central Government legislated these laws. The farmers brought out issues related to the APMCs – They said that there has to be a level playing field between APMCs and Private Markets and Trade Yards. They also said that there is a need for proper registration of Trade outside APMCs. The issue of protecting the land of farmers in the Contract Farming Act was also raised.The farmers unions also requested that the MSP system should be made legal. Regarding dispute resolution system in the new Farms Acts the unions said that there is a need for an alternate dispute resolution system. The need for registration of contract farming was also flagged.
The Secretary Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Sanjay Agarwal gave a detailed description of the Farms Acts and the measures taken by the Ministry of Agriculture for the welfare of farmers and those measures taken to benefit agriculture during the lockdown period to keep the supply chains active. He said that the Farm Acts have been framed keeping in mind the farmers welfare.
Agriculture Minister Tomar assured the Unions that the Minimum support price will remain and therefore the farmers should not fear that it will go away. He thanked the Farmers organisations for flagging their concerns and assured them that the dialogue will continue.