Agenda for Agricultural Reform
In India, land fragmentation has resulted in poor yields and productivity, making the sector unviable for small farmers and Private sector is yet to harness the business potential of agriculture and allied sectors. Solving this crisis and reforming the sector will involve re-organisation of key factors of farm production like land, labour, capital and technology.
The fact is that 49 per cent of the national workforce and 64 per cent of the rural work force still depend on the sector for a living.
The only solution on these all problems is the Four Aces of Agricultural Reform
1. Improving supply chain and processing capacities: The private sector must be allowed to procure, store and distribute grains, can start with the Public Distribution System.
2. Linking farmers to markets: Small farmers often find it difficult to access markets on their own. Aggregating farmers into Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) will not just help overcome the small holder issue but enable improved market access and better bargaining capacity for them.
3. Agri startups: Promoting agricultural services under the Start-up India Scheme will help bring modern technology and inputs to farmers.
4. Long-term leasing laws: The only way to overcome this challenge is by facilitating a legal framework to consolidate these holdings in to larger operational units through “long term leasing of farmland without alienating the land ownership — as has been introduced by Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. This policy reform can be a game changer as also suggested by Niti Aayog in the Model Land Leasing Act — no change in ownership and no tenancy rights, land reverts back upon expiry of lease.