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Legal frame work for Agricultural Sector in India and the present challenges: A critique By Dr.Madhuri Parikh Asst. Professor Institute of Law, Nirma University.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal frame work for Agricultural Sector in India and the present challenges: A critique By Dr.Madhuri Parikh Asst. Professor Institute of Law, Nirma University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal frame work for Agricultural Sector in India and the present challenges: A critique By Dr.Madhuri Parikh Asst. Professor Institute of Law, Nirma University

2 Overview  Introduction  National Legal Framework for Agricultural sector in India  Challenges related to agricultural sector and farmers in India  The Seeds Act does not provide for compensation to farmers  Mismatch in the cost of production and final market price received by cultivators  Delay in providing compensation for acquiring land by govt. authorities  Crop insurance-a dream or reality for small farmers?  APMC Act: how far beneficial to farmers?  Development v. Protection of agricultural land  Conclusion

3 Introduction  The Sustainable agricultural development and conservation strategies help in bringing climate justice.  Climate justice links human rights and development to achieve a human- centred approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its resolution equitably and fairly.  Agricultural sector and farmers in particular have important role in the overall preservation of global environment.

4 Cont…  At present in India, a well-designed legal frame work exists for the agricultural related matters and issues.  Due to administrative and legislative measures and initiatives, India has set new mile stones in its agricultural progress.  The present paper discusses the administrative and legislative efforts made in agricultural sector in India and it critically analyses their efficacy in bringing justice to the farmers in India and the present challenges to it.

5 National legal Frame work for Agricultural Sector  The entire Indian legislative framework related to agriculture can be divided into following heads:  Laws related to land laws and land reforms  Laws related to Fertilisers, seed, pests and pesticides, genetically modified organisms, agricultural biotechnology and other inputs  Labour laws in agriculture  Laws in agricultural marketing  Laws related to livestock sector  Laws of agricultural credit and finances  Laws related to cooperative sector and panchayat

6 Cont…  Under the different categories as mentioned earlier the following laws can be mentioned as some of the examples.  The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013  Laws related to Fertilisers, seed, pests and pesticides, genetically modified organisms, agricultural biotechnology and other inputs  In this category the following laws can be listed.  Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951(IDRA)  Essential Commodities Act, 1955  Seeds Act, 1966  Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’’ Rights Act, 2001  Insecticides Act, 1968 and Insecticides (Amendment) Act, 2000  Destructive Insects and Pests Act, 1914.

7 Cont….  For genetically Modified organisms following legislations exist in India:  The Rules for the manufacture, use, import, export and storage of hazardous microorganism or cells, 1989 under the Environment Portection Act,  Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001  National Biodiversity Act, 2002  National Seed policy, 2002  Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) order, 2003  Foreign Trade Policy, 2006

8 Cont…  Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006  Recombinant DNA Safety Guidelines, 1990  Revised Recombinant DNA Safety Guidelines, 1994  Revised Guidelines for Research in Transgenic Seeds, Plants and Plant parts, 1998  National Biotechnology Strategy, 2005  Environment Policy, 2006

9 Challenges related to agricultural sector and farmers in India  Though there is comprehensive legal framework at the national level for the protection of the farmers, still the cases of suicide of farmers are increasing as per the present data. It indicates that still we need to take care of certain crucial issues related to agricultural sector and farmers.

10 The key issues 1.  The Seeds Act, 1966 provides effective provisions for the availability of the qualitative seeds for the farmers. It mentions in detail penalty for defects in quality but it fails to provide any provision for the compensation to farmers in case if the crop fails due to low quality of seeds  The changes in the act were suggested and bill was kept in the parliament in 2004 which is yet not passed.

11 The Seeds Act does not provide for compensation to farmers  The seeds Act provides for imposition of the penalty for defective seeds but it does not provide for the compensation to the farmers in the case of loss occurred due to defective goods. For compensation the farmers have to approach the consumer forum for proper remedy under the Consumer Protection Act,  National Seeds Corporation Ltd. V. M. Madhusudhan Reddy and Anr.

12 Mismatch in the cost of production and final market price received by cultivators  A mismatch in the cost of production and the support price and the market price that the cultivators receive at the end of every cropping cycle gives rise to indebtedness and increasing cases of suicides.  The Secretary, All India Biodynamic and Organic Farming Association v.The Principal Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra & Ors.  Fundamental problem identified was increase in the cost of cultivation as a result of higher input prices, without corresponding increase in the prices realized by farmers of agricultural produce.  The Court in this case made the government aware of its duty to implement Directive Principles of State Policy 38, 39, 41, 47, 48A, 51A(g) specifically in order to bring out a cohesive scheme to help farmers economically, socially, psychologically.

13 Delay in providing compensation for acquiring land by govt. authorities.  Bhusawal Municipal Council v.Nivrutti Ramchandra Phalak and Ors. and I.A. Nos (1)SCALE61 the Court observed that  The fundamental right of a farmer to cultivate his land is a part of right to livelihood "Agricultural land is the foundation for a sense of security and freedom from fear. Assured possession is a lasting source for peace and prosperity." India being predominantly an agricultural society, there is a "strong linkage between the land and the person's status in the social system.“  K. Krishna Reddy and Ors. v. The Special Dy. Collector, Land Acquisition Unit II, LMD Karimnagar, Andhra PradeshAIR 1988 SC 2123, this Court while directing the statutory authorities to make the payment of compensation at the earliest observed that the person so uprooted may not be having any savings, he may not be knowing any other avocation, thus, he may face starvation with rising inflation. A delayed payment may loose the charm and utility of the compensation. Thus, the compensation must be determined and paid without loss of time.

14 Cont …  In Narmada Bachao Andolan-I, the Supreme Court held as under:  when the removal of the tribal population is necessary as an exceptional measure, they shall be provided with land of quality at least equal to that of the land previously occupied by them and they shall be fully compensated for any resulting loss or injury. The rehabilitation package contained in the Award of the Tribunal as improved further by the State of Gujarat and the other States prima facie shows that the land required to be allotted to the tribals is likely to be equal, if not better than what they had owned.

15 Crop insurance-a dream or reality for small farmers?  CROP INSURANCE AND THE HINDRANCES IN CLAIMING COMPENSATION  Girdhari Mishra v. State of Odisha  This case gives rise to two crucial question:-  Whether the block as a unit for the purpose of granting insurance benefits is reasonable?  Whether the State Government is justified to make an assessment of loss of area approach basis i.e. Block as unit and not Grama Panchayat basis in case of failure of crop due to drought when the crop of the individual farmers are compulsorily insured to indemnify their crop ?

16 Cont…  In this case it was observed by the court as follows:  In the facts situation, the right approach would have been to settle the claim on an individual basis or taking 'Gram Panchayat' as defined area for the purpose of awarding insurance claim to the drought affected persons; more particularly, when premiums have been collected by the Insurance Company on an individual basis while advancing agricultural loans to individual farmers. Further case of the State-opposite party is that from each Gram Panchayat has been taken as a 'Unit' for settling the insurance claim towards any loss due to farmers on account of wide spread calamities.

17 Cont…  Suggi Devi and Others Vs. State of Bihar and Ors.  In this case the hon'ble court accept the plea of the petitioners and held that according to the Agricultural insurance scheme introduced by the central government the farmers are entitled to get damages for the losses suffered by them, and allowed the petition.

18 APMC Act: how far beneficial to farmers?  The Act has been enacted for the benefit of the farmers but the reality is different. The benefits envisages by the act are not achieved in reality.  The old model -APMC acts ran on two principles:  Ensure that intermediaries (and money lenders) do not compel farmers to sell their produce at the farm prices=farmer is not exploited  All food produce should first be brought to the market yard=> sell through auction=farmers gets good money.  Under this act:  A State is geographically divided and Market (Mandis) are established at different places within the states.  Farmers have to sell their produce through the

19 Cont…  Under this act- Most Mandi traders do following:  Even after receiving the fruit/veggies/grains, they delay payment to farmers for weeks and months.  If payment is done on spot, then trader would arbitrarily deduct some amount, on excuse that he has not received payments from the other parties.  To avoid tax/cess, the traders don’t give sale slips to farmers=>Later it is difficult for farmer to prove his ‘income’ to get loans from banks.  on an average basis the farmer is able to receive barely 1/4th to 1/3 rd of the final retail prices

20 Cont…  To remove these problems the Model APMC act has been prepared in 2003 by the Union government.  The problem is –agriculture being state subject it depends on the State government of Concerned state to implement and adopt it.

21 Development v. Protection of agricultural land  The economic development is must for any nation now a days. Big projects are given permission by the government for this reason. But many times the impacts of such projects are not measured properly. For measuring future impacts of the proposed projects on health, society and environment, we have legal mechanism in the form of Environment Impact Assessment in India Notification under Environment Protection Act, 1986 in India.  But the debatable issue is the real report of the Environment Impact Assessment by the project proponent.

22 Cont…  For example  The Government of India approved the establishment of 2x1000 MW of Nuclear power plant units at Jaitapur in Taluka Rajapur, District Ratnagiri, in Maharashtra in October However, to enable India to have nuclear trade with other countries, owing to the advancement in technology and in view of recent development in international scenario of NSG waiver, Government of India now ‘in principle’ has approved 6x1650 MW plant at the same location. The Proposed Jaitpur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) is one of the largest proposed projects in Asia. The report is a technical evaluation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared by NEERI.

23 Cont…  The EIA report does not provide any permanent storage of radioactive waste, though it has discussed different ways of disposing the waste. The proposed plant is 25 times bigger (with respect to Kalpakkam nuclear power plant) but the EIA report anticipated that the radio active disposal due to the operation of JNPP will not have any adverse impact on land and water components of the surrounded environment.  The site selection of JNPP in the EIA report shows that it is a waste and barren land but the topographical map of the proposed area shows the area is a mixture of agricultural and grazing land.

24 Conclusion  Few challenges related to agricultural sector in India are discussed here  We need to deliberate what remedies should be provided to these present issues.  We should not forget that The sustainable agricultural development and conservation strategies help in bringing climate justice.  Climate justice focuses on the root causes of climate change and commitment to address the disproportionate burden of climate crisis on the poor and marginalised. It requires systematic change from unfair to fair distribution of worlds’ wealth. This global aim can be achieved through proper strategic planning at national and regional level and thus the social, economic and enviro-justice to people can be achieved.

25 Thank You


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