Finally, the government is awakening to the importance of amending the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act. The Act, in its present form, blocks investment in the sector by private players.
Minister for food processing industries Subodh Kant Sahai on Friday said the Act has to be amended at the earliest. It has been known for some time now that the Act is more of a roadblock than a regulatory instrument. Contract farming, large-scale private sector trading in agricultural produce and private sector investment in agriculture, among other issues, all stop at the gates of the APMC Act. It only adds a bureaucratic layer over local produce markets.
Lack of investment is at the root of the agricultural crisis in India. The state has little money for investment, while the private sector is inhibited from doing so. The result is the squeezing of the farmer. It’s time something is done about this.