Karnataka new law to allow farmers to sell crop for best price

Bengaluru: Karnataka is amending the law to enable its farmers to sell their crop for the best price even outside the APMCs, said Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Friday.

“The Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) Act is being amended to empower millions of our farmers to sell their produce for the best price in the APMC yard or outside it,” Yediyurappa told reporters here.

The state cabinet on Thursday decided to amend the APMC Act through an ordinance to lift restrictions on the sale of farm produce and allow farmers to sell their crop in the APMC yard or in private markets where they get the best price.

“The purpose of amending the law is to double the farmers’ income as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new law will enable our farmers to sell their produce to whoever gives him the best price at the APMC yard or outside it in a free market,” asserted Yediyurappa.

Lakhs of farmers and growers of foodgrains, vegetables, fruits and flowers across the southern state suffered huge losses over the last 50 days, as they could not harvest or sell their produce due to the lockdown enforced suddenly on March 25 and extended twice till May 17 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“The amended Act will benefit farmers in improving their income and reduce losses due to market fluctuations. Our intention is to protect farmers from volatile market trends. It will help farmers in doubling their income by 2022, as he wished by the Prime Minister,” Yediyurappa reiterated.

The amendment will not dilute the powers or work of the APMCs, as all marketing activities will be monitored by the state APMC director.

Clarifying that his government was not removing the APMCs or the Act governing their activities, the chief minister said only two sections of the law were being amended to enable farmers sell their produce in markets where they get the maximum remuneration.

“The new law will stop exploitation of farmers by market forces, middlemen and commission agents and prevent them from selling their produce in distress when prices fall. They can sell their produce to those who pay them the highest price,” pointed out Yediyurappa.

In this context, the chief minister announced that Rs 5,000 would be paid to each corn farmer to compensate for losses they suffered due to the lockdown and distress sales owing to excess production and supply.

“The state government has earmarked Rs 500 crore for compensating all corn farmers, including 50 per cent of them who sold their crop in distress to avoid it from perishing in the hot summer season,” added Yediyurappa.