The Brouhaha Over the Farm Bills-Atul Khanna

Why they are in English, a language a vast majority of farmers don’t understand.
Why is the partition of India in to Bharat and India, with a common currency, defence et all, going on at a frenzied pace.

It started a long time ago, as I have often said and peaked by our unconciousably calling our own citizens, migrants. While calling foreigner’s expats.

We lived with a terrible mandi system in Agriculture and nobody said a word. Most produce never reached the mandi. The small farmer could not afford to take it there and a middleman
picked it up, with credit at the door step. It dint strike the bureaucracy to do something about it.

The gala or leverage or difference between door step price and retail price, only needed to be bridged and lo, you had a rich farmer, no agro bad debts, no free power, no busting the last drop of often dangerous groundwater and subsidies so that Industry could produce un needed chemicals paid for by the State and we got chemically laced food. The gap is like 10x between Mandi and retail and God knows how much between door step collection, aggregation and sale at mandi.

Nobody said a word. We were literally living off the farmers back. Imagine you being prohibited from selling your produce or services at anyplace except place marked X, which may be far away, where real conditions of entrance are tougher than what is offered to you at your door step. Try and imagine the detail of this actually works in your head.

Why did it exist? Because there was bureaucratic bribe and political party fund lines established by this system.

Now somebody comes to reform it. But doesn’t take the middle path. They set up a system where a free punching bag of big vs small negotiation power is offered. And MSP that was not law, is still not Law. This is false control. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The middleman has not been eliminated. The middleman has been changed. To someone more powerful, with lesser cultural roots. Totally avoidable.
I have no doubt that farm income will go up two times and much of the agitation is around a discomfort created, where old goes and who is the new? But farm income that has a leverage of 10x has only been repaired 2x, that’s small entry price, for new actors. Why aren’t we dreaming of 5x increase. Why aren’t we dreaming of 5x increase and 2x decrease to consumer and YET have a legitimate aggregator middlemen. Share markets have brokers, Real Estate has brokers. Nothing wrong with brokers, wholesalers, retailers. They are legitimate professions and businesses. What’s this one liner of eliminate them. The only issue is transparency. This is all that is needed, this all that is missing. Technology and systems for all this exists. We just don’t want to make it available.
The biggest issue in Indian Agriculture is bureaucracy. They get too much pay for no responsibility or service. Whether it is Agro research or pick up or credit or insurance – there is no door step delivery.

Once that starts, it is irrelevant whether they sell at place A, B or C. Important is door step will propel agro entrepreneurship, which alone can do, what Government, Industry and trade has not been able to do. Increase India’s share of world trade from a stagnant 2%.

When we were 23% of world trade, it was Agro led. That’s how so much Agro dependence came. Let it stay that way. It’s our only global product.

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