Protest against the farm bills erupted in various parts of the country. “MSP is an issue, had raised it with the government,” said the RSS farmers’ wing, asking people to refrain from a mega stir, but they are too upset.
While most farmers’ unions and workers called a shutdown on September 25, the BKS so far didn’t actually join the protest. Mohini Mohan Mishra, the national secretary of the RSS affiliated farmers’ union, said that the concerns over MSP expressed by many farmers, union leaders and MP’s have really not been addressed in two bills.
The three bills, now passed, include:
1. The farmers produce trade and commerce (Promotion and Facilitation Bill 2020)
2. The farmers( empowerment and protection) agreement on price assurance and farm services bill 2020
3.The essential commodities ( amendment) bill 2020
The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) bill allows barrier-free Intra and interstate trade of farm produce. Previously, farm produce was sold at notified wholesale markets or mandis run by the-7000 agricultural produce marketing committees (APMC). Each APMC had licensed middleman who would buy from farmers- at prices set by auction- before selling to institutional buyers like retailers and big traders.
Under the new system, farmers can eliminate middlemen and sell directly to institutional buyers at prices to be agreed between them. However, farmers groups are worried that this might expose them to corporates who have more bargaining power and resources than small or marginal farmers. 85% of farmers own less than two hectares of land, so it might be difficult for them to negotiate directly with large scale buyers.