The largest unorganized sector of workers or laborers of India are farmers. They never ever had given priority or privilege and always subject to various manipulations in their life though they are the most deserving category in a country who provides food for whole nation. In order to prevent them from exploitation the Government had enacted the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement On price Assurance and Farm Services Act of 2020. The Act has 25 sections in four chapters detailing various provisions with regard to the Farmers empowerment. The Act came in to existence on 24th September 2020.
The main objective of the enactment is to provide a secure farming agreement frame work for the farming services and farm produce between the farmer and the buyer including wholesalers, agri-business firms, retailers, exporters and processors.
Section two of the act provides specification about farmer, farming agreement, farmer producer organization and all factors relating to the farmer and the buyer transactions. For the proper implementation of the act the farming agreement includes trade and commerce agreement and production agreement, farm produce includes cattle fodder, food stuffs including edible oil seeds, rice , wheat, poultry, oil cakes and other concentrates, cotton seeds and raw jute. Section 2(J) gives the exception clause of “force majeure” of unforeseen or unpredictable unexpectable events of natural calamities.
Section three of the act details the farming agreement and its contents. The period of a farming agreement is a maximum period of five years and the minimum period is one crop season or one production cycle of livestock. A farming agreement can’t be made if it contains any conditions that are infringing the right of a share cropper who is a tiller or occupier of the land agrees to pay a fixed amount of price or crop to the land owner. The Central government has also put forward the guide lines for entering in to written agreement between the farmer and the sponsor.
Section 8 of the act states that a farming agreement cannot be made if has conditions to acquire the ownership right and modifications to be made in the farmers land or premises.
Alteration or termination on any farming agreement can be done with the mutual consent of both parties.
The states concerned can establish Registration authority for farming agreement frame works in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the State Governments concerned.
Chapter 3 of the act deals with the conciliation Board for dispute settlement with regard to the farming agreement. The appellate authority is the Sub Divisional authority presided by the sub Divisional Magistrate Concerned confers the power of Civil court while deciding the dispute.
The Central Government is empowered by virtue of Chapter four of the Act to make rules through Gazette notification from time to time.
Though the Act was enacted for the empowerment of the farmers it invite wide criticism from whole of the nation stating that farmers rights are overlooked particularly the appellate authority is stated as the higher authority as it infringes the right of a farmer to move before a Court