Arrivals of several crops in the organised mandis have picked up ever since the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the three contentious farm laws on 12 January, 2021, according to official data on the Union agriculture ministry’s Agmarknet portal.
Of the ten major kharif crops, mandis have seen increased arrivals in five crops – groundnut, bajra, soyabean, arhar and moong. The increase in arrivals is anywhere in the range of 3-105% between January 13 and February 15 from previous year in the same period. However, three crops – urad, maize and jowar – have been falling in arrivals, but the declines are less sharp this year.
The two major crops – paddy and cotton – have reported drastic fall in mandi arrivals post the court order. This is mainly on account of the procurement of the two crops by the designated government agencies, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) respectively. The two government agencies had nearly completed the purchases from the farmers before the court’s intervention.
Paddy procurement hit a record level in the summer crop season, up by 16%, mainly due to higher purchases in Punjab that saw a rise by 31 per cent. In the case of cotton too, government procurement has been robust, says a Financial Express report.
A visible impact of the three farm bills was witnessed when kharif harvesting season began in October. All India mandi arrivals in the three months up to December 31 had dropped by 2% to 51% from the year-ago levels in all the ten kharif crops.
Arrivals of moong in the mandis in Nagaur district of Rajasthan during the one month post the SC order was nearly half of what these were during October-December, the main harvesting period. Farmers were probably hoping for prices to increase and were holding the crops. The sharpest increase in mandi arrivals post the SC stay was in the case of moong with a 105% increase on year.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at different entry points of Delhi since November 26 demanding repeal of the three farm laws and a legally guaranteed minimum support price (MSP) mechanism.