23 Dec 2020 20:46 IST

BIMTECH hosts discussion on the new agriculture laws

Experts in the panel provided different perspectives on the ongoing crisis and farmer protests

The economics club of Birla Institute of Management and Technology (BIMTECH), Greater Noida, Eco Chamber, hosted a panel discussion on “Agriculture Produces Marketing Reforms: Boon or Bane.” The panellists were welcomed by Dr Harivansh Chaturvedi, Director, BIMTECH. To get a diverse opinion on the recent farm Acts, the institute invited Dr Sukhpal Singh, Professor and Former Chairperson of Centre for Management in Agriculture at IIM, Ahmedabad; T K Arun, Consulting Editor, Economic Times; Dr Anand Ranganathan, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Devinder Sharma, an award-winning Indian journalist and agricultural scientist; and Aditya Panda, Senior Manager, Coca-Cola, India.







Protecting farmer interests

Dr Sukhpal Singh, commented on the APMC Act and said contract farming should be legal. He provided an overview to the mandi system and the farm bills in Punjab. This gave the students a detailed understanding of the ongoing issue and its implications on the farmers and various stakeholders in the system. Dr Devinder Sharma in his talking points laid emphasis on the legalities of Minimum Selling Price (MSP) and how farmers should be given independence and higher pay to make farming economically viable. Dr Sharma added to this by explaining that the farmers demand to get an assured income at an assured price by the government is the main reason behind the protest.

MSP mechanism

Editor Dr TK Arun talked about how farming is dynamic in respect to the rest of the economy and suggested a cooperative wise transition mechanism to be put in place. Dr Anand had different views on the MSP, and the perspective of farmers, which is that they want to sell their produce at their own price and set their own MSP. He also stated examples from the sugarcane industry. Dr Panda observed that the farm bills are being misinterpreted, and the government wants to make the Acts work in its favour.

The members the panel had different views on the state of the farming sector and the recent Acts. This helped the students get different perspectives and think critically.