BJP national spokesperson Mmhonlumo Kikon Credit: EastMojo image

Kohima: Local farmers in small states like Nagaland will benefit from the new farm bills, says Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson and adviser IT, science and technology, NRE Mmhonlumo Kikon on Wednesday. The three farm bills which disappointed farmers across the nation will also ensure “livelihood and income generation” for “small farmers”.

The contentious farm Bills — the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Bypass Bill, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill— will specifically addresses the concern of the farmers, especially the local farmers in the state of Nagaland and in many other small states, said Kikon.

In an interaction with media persons, Kikon said that “the absence of active mandis in the state cannot be equated with the absence of trade in terms of farmers produce”. The legislator said that there has always been a process as many agricultural produces in the state are traded locally and also “sold to traders who take it outside of the state”.

“But the problem is, although APMC exist, a reform was required on the basis of our studies and the data available that– it should reach to the market without the hindrance of having to go through various middleman. So this farm bills specifically addresses the concern of the farmers, especially the local farmers in the state of Nagaland and in many small states”

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Kikon added that in many small states, farmers will benefit from the farm bills. “It is because of the removal of the middleman and ensuring that any trader and buyer can come together from within or outside the state to trade or buy the agricultural produce”.

This, according to him, will ensure the livelihood and the income generation activities for farmers, especially small farmers in the smaller states like Nagaland.

Kikon also said that following the historic farm bills passed in the parliament, the government has already procured 16,420 tonnes of paddy worth Rs 31 crore at the minimum support price (MSP) in the last 72 hours from farmers in Punjab and Haryana.

He also said that the new farm bills are a “blessing for farmers” as the reforms are made keeping in mind the concerns and produce of farmers. Further adding that the opposition parties are protesting for the sake of it, Kikon recalled the Congress manifesto in 2019 which also sought to “repeal the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) Act and make trade in agricultural produce—including exports and inter-state trade—free from all restrictions”.

He slammed the opposition parties, particularly the Congress party for opposing the bills and making “contradictory policies or opinions on many issues”. He reiterated that the MSP will remain and the question of ending it does not arise.

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