Indian Agriculture Act 2020: Know all About Farm Laws

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Indian Agriculture Acts 2020

Farmers are the backbone of India. They are our providers, without whom, we would never have a morsel of grains on our plates. This is why talking about the Indian Agriculture Act 2020 is very important. The Act had already drawn protests and opposition by the farmers before their position reached a stalemate with the Corona Virus spreading fast. In 2020, when the world was suffering from COVID-19, three Farm Bills were passed in the Parliament. Progress, as mentioned in the soul of our Constitution, the Preamble, is equal for all if we want to progress as one. The Acts still draw protests as well as support, in this blog we will try to know why.

Indian Agriculture Acts of 2020 or the Farm Acts
Introduced as a Bill5th June, 2020
Administered The Government of India
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare
The 3 Farm Acts of 2020The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020
Farmer Protests began9th August 2020 
Lok Sabha passed17th September 2020 with a Majority
Rajya Sabha passed20th September 2020 through Voice Vote
Enacted 20th September, 2020 
Signed by the President27th September, 2020
Signed by Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India
Commenced as a Law27th September, 2020
RepealThe Supreme Court of India stayed the Acts on the 12th of January, 2021
Acts Repealed1st of December, 2021
Farmer Protests ended11th December 2021

What is the Background of the Indian Agriculture Acts of 2020?

Agriculture, falling under the State List of Schedule 7 of the Indian Constitution, saw reforms started by the Central Government with proposed model farming acts.  

  • However, due to non-implementation by States of the country, the central government introduced three Bills on the 5th of June 2020. 
  • These Bills were later enacted into law with the President’s consent on the 27th of September 2020. 
  • The introduction of these new laws sparked protests among farmers in Punjab, Haryana, and other states, with opposition also coming from several State governments. 
  • Notably, the Kerala legislative assembly passed a resolution against the farm reforms, hence urging for their repeal.

Also Read: Important Articles in the Indian Constitution

What are the 3 Farms Laws?

The 3 Farm Laws are as follows: 

  1. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
  • It defines a particular conflict resolution management.
  • A legal framework was established to encourage farmers to engage in pre-arranged contracts with buyers, including pricing provisions.
  1. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
  • It broadens the geographic scope for trading agricultural produce. Thus extending it from specific areas to encompass “any place of production, collection, aggregation.” 
  • Moreover, they introduce provisions for electronic trading and e-commerce platforms to promote transactions involving selected agricultural produce. 
  • Additionally, the Act restricts State governments from imposing market fees, cess, or levies on farmers, traders, and electronic trading platforms engaged in transactions conducted outside traditional market areas.
  1. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020
  • One key provision involves the exclusion of certain food items like cereals, pulses, onions, potatoes, edible oilseeds, and oils from the list of essential commodities. 
  • Additionally, under normal circumstances, stockholding limits on agricultural products produced via horticultural techniques are lifted, with exceptions only in cases of extraordinary circumstances. 
  • Furthermore, the imposition of stock limits on agricultural produce is permitted only in situations of sharp price escalation. 

Why did the Farmers Protest?

The farmers’ protests reflected deep-seated concerns about the potential adverse impacts of the agricultural reforms. They feared an impact on their livelihoods, income security, and bargaining power within the agricultural market.

  • Fear of Corporate Exploitation: Farmers expressed apprehensions about the potential exploitation by large corporate entities once the agricultural sector becomes more market-driven. Moreover, they feared that without adequate safeguards, they would lose bargaining power and face unfair contracts and prices dictated by corporations.
  • Impact on Mandi System: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act allows farmers to sell their produce outside the traditional Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis. Many farmers, particularly in states like Punjab and Haryana, depend heavily on the APMC mandis for selling their crops. Additionally, they feared that the new laws would undermine the existing mandi system, thus leaving them vulnerable to market volatility.
  • Lack of Minimum Support Price (MSP) Guarantee: Farmers demanded a legal guarantee of Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for their crops. While the government argued that MSP would continue, protesters wanted MSP to be put in the new laws to ensure price security.
  • Loss of Livelihood: Small and marginal farmers, constitute a significant portion of India’s farming community. They feared that the liberalisation of agricultural markets could lead to decreased income and loss of livelihoods. Furthermore, farmers believed that the reforms favoured large corporate interests over the welfare of small farmers.
  • Exclusion of Farmers’ Voices: Many farmers felt marginalized and excluded from the decision-making process regarding the drafting and implementation of the agricultural laws. Thus, they criticised the lack of consultation with farmers’ organizations and demanded meaningful dialogue and inclusion in policy discussions.

Also Read: Powers and Functions of the Indian Judiciary

The Repeal of the 3 Acts

On the 12th of January 2021, the Supreme Court of India halted the enforcement of the 3 Farm Acts. Subsequently, the Court established a committee to address concerns related to these laws. This committee invited public feedback on the farm laws until the 20th of February 2021.

  • On the 19th of November 2021, on the auspicious occasion of Gurupurab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government’s decision. It was to repeal the 3 agricultural Acts during the forthcoming winter session of Parliament in December.
  • On the 29th of November 2021, the Parliament of India successfully passed a Bill aimed at repealing the 3 Farm Acts.
  • Notably, the Bill was approved in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, without undergoing any debate. Despite numerous calls and requests for discussion on the matter.


What are the three new laws for farmers in India?

The three new laws for farmers in India are the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act of 2020, The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act of 2020.  However, these laws have been repealed by the Supreme Court of India on the 1st of December, 2021. 

What is the Farm Service Act 2020?

The 2020 Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act was initiated by the Indian Government. It establishes a nationwide structure for contract farming. It encourages farmers to engage in agreements with buyers before the cultivation or raising of any agricultural products. Hence aiming to provide them with price assurance and access to various farm services.

What is the full form of MSP?

The Full Form of MSP is the Minimum Service Price. It is the price set by the government to purchase agricultural produce from farmers. Thus ensuring them a minimum level of income for their crops. The MSP is announced by the government before the sowing season to provide farmers with price certainty and to protect them from market fluctuations.

Lastly, we hope you liked our blog and gained an understanding of the Indian Agriculture Acts of 2020. Moreover, you may even read more blogs and empower yourself with knowledge regarding Civics and Polity! 

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