Modi Government has instituted eNAM (e National Agriculture Market), an IT enabled market on the internet to make it easier for farmers to sell their produce directly to end Retailers, bypassing the many middlemen, who control the APMC’s (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) and are largely responsible for massive hike in food prices when they hit the cities. This internet platform has taken off, but the APMC’s themselves have many parties interested in status quo so that they earn their crores. What is the way out now?
Politicians have vested relations with these APMC’s – Look at Sharad Pawar. Its been eons since he has been winning elections on back of his control over Sugar producing cooperatives. His 10 years as agriculture minister in UPA led to the worst shape of agriculture sector. Food inflation hit the roof but the most farmer suicides were witnessed in same areas which Pawar goons control.
Way forward as rightly suggested in the article – Remove the politicians running APMC’s, who have deep connections to political parties. Most of these APMC’s are controlled by dynasty parties, like Congress, NCP, SP, DMK, NC, SAD.
Another way for reducing the link between politicians and agriculture, is to institute Income Tax on agricultural income above Rs. 1 crore per annum. Most politicians from opposition parties, show their income as agricultural income, to evade tax. These pseudo “Farmers” need to be checked. By taxing agricultural income only above Rs. 1 crore, it would be ensured that this corruption is checked. Also, Rs. 1 crore is a huge amount, which would leave out the poor farmer from the tax net.