Madhuri parikh-NIRMA

Report
Legal frame work for
Agricultural Sector in India
and the present
challenges: A critique
By Dr.Madhuri Parikh
Asst. Professor
Institute of Law, Nirma University
Overview

Introduction

National Legal Framework for Agricultural sector in India

Challenges related to agricultural sector and farmers in India

The Seeds Act does not provide for compensation to farmers

Mismatch in the cost of production and final market price received by
cultivators

Delay in providing compensation for acquiring land by govt. authorities

Crop insurance-a dream or reality for small farmers?

APMC Act: how far beneficial to farmers?

Development v. Protection of agricultural land

Conclusion
Introduction

The Sustainable agricultural development and conservation strategies
help in bringing climate justice.

Climate justice links human rights and development to achieve a humancentred approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable and
sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its resolution
equitably and fairly.

Agricultural sector and farmers in particular have important role in the
overall preservation of global environment.
Cont…

At present in India, a well-designed legal frame work exists for the
agricultural related matters and issues.

Due to administrative and legislative measures and initiatives, India has
set new mile stones in its agricultural progress.

The present paper discusses the administrative and legislative efforts
made in agricultural sector in India and it critically analyses their
efficacy in bringing justice to the farmers in India and the present
challenges to it.
National legal Frame work for
Agricultural Sector

The entire Indian legislative framework related to agriculture can be
divided into following heads:

Laws related to land laws and land reforms

Laws related to Fertilisers, seed, pests and pesticides, genetically
modified organisms, agricultural biotechnology and other inputs

Labour laws in agriculture

Laws in agricultural marketing

Laws related to livestock sector

Laws of agricultural credit and finances

Laws related to cooperative sector and panchayat
Cont…

Under the different categories as mentioned earlier the following laws can be mentioned as
some of the examples.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and
Resettlement Act, 2013

Laws related to Fertilisers, seed, pests and pesticides, genetically modified organisms,
agricultural biotechnology and other inputs

In this category the following laws can be listed.

Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951(IDRA)

Essential Commodities Act, 1955

Seeds Act, 1966

Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’’ Rights Act, 2001

Insecticides Act, 1968 and Insecticides (Amendment) Act, 2000

Destructive Insects and Pests Act, 1914.
Cont….

For genetically Modified organisms following legislations exist in India:

The Rules for the manufacture, use, import, export and storage of
hazardous microorganism or cells, 1989 under the Environment Portection
Act, 1986.

Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001

National Biodiversity Act, 2002

National Seed policy, 2002

Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) order, 2003

Foreign Trade Policy, 2006
Cont…

Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006

Recombinant DNA Safety Guidelines, 1990

Revised Recombinant DNA Safety Guidelines, 1994

Revised Guidelines for Research in Transgenic Seeds, Plants and Plant
parts, 1998

National Biotechnology Strategy, 2005

Environment Policy, 2006
Challenges related to agricultural
sector and farmers in India

Though there is comprehensive legal framework at the national level for
the protection of the farmers, still the cases of suicide of farmers are
increasing as per the present data. It indicates that still we need to take
care of certain crucial issues related to agricultural sector and farmers.
The key issues
1.

The Seeds Act, 1966 provides effective provisions for the availability of
the qualitative seeds for the farmers. It mentions in detail penalty for
defects in quality but it fails to provide any provision for the
compensation to farmers in case if the crop fails due to low quality of
seeds

The changes in the act were suggested and bill was kept in the
parliament in 2004 which is yet not passed.
The Seeds Act does not provide for
compensation to farmers

The seeds Act provides for imposition of the penalty for defective seeds
but it does not provide for the compensation to the farmers in the case
of loss occurred due to defective goods. For compensation the farmers
have to approach the consumer forum for proper remedy under the
Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

National Seeds Corporation Ltd. V. M. Madhusudhan Reddy and Anr.
Mismatch in the cost of production and
final market price received by cultivators

A mismatch in the cost of production and the support price and the market
price that the cultivators receive at the end of every cropping cycle gives
rise to indebtedness and increasing cases of suicides .

The Secretary, All India Biodynamic and Organic Farming Association
v.The Principal Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra & Ors.

Fundamental problem identified was increase in the cost of cultivation as
a result of higher input prices, without corresponding increase in the
prices realized by farmers of agricultural produce.

The Court in this case made the government aware of its duty to
implement Directive Principles of State Policy 38, 39, 41, 47, 48A, 51A(g)
specifically in order to bring out a cohesive scheme to help farmers
economically, socially, psychologically.
Delay in providing compensation for
acquiring land by govt. authorities.

Bhusawal Municipal Council v.Nivrutti Ramchandra Phalak and Ors. and I.A. Nos.
1-2 2014(1)SCALE61 the Court observed that

The fundamental right of a farmer to cultivate his land is a part of right to
livelihood "Agricultural land is the foundation for a sense of security and freedom
from fear. Assured possession is a lasting source for peace and prosperity." India
being predominantly an agricultural society, there is a "strong linkage between the
land and the person's status in the social system.“

K. Krishna Reddy and Ors. v. The Special Dy. Collector, Land Acquisition Unit II,
LMD Karimnagar, Andhra PradeshAIR 1988 SC 2123, this Court while directing the
statutory authorities to make the payment of compensation at the earliest observed
that the person so uprooted may not be having any savings, he may not be knowing
any other avocation, thus, he may face starvation with rising inflation. A delayed
payment may loose the charm and utility of the compensation. Thus, the
compensation must be determined and paid without loss of time.
Cont …

In Narmada Bachao Andolan-I, the Supreme Court held as under:

when the removal of the tribal population is necessary as an
exceptional measure, they shall be provided with land of quality at
least equal to that of the land previously occupied by them and
they shall be fully compensated for any resulting loss or injury. The
rehabilitation package contained in the Award of the Tribunal as
improved further by the State of Gujarat and the other States prima
facie shows that the land required to be allotted to the tribals is likely
to be equal, if not better than what they had owned.
Crop insurance-a dream or reality for
small farmers?

CROP INSURANCE AND THE HINDRANCES IN CLAIMING COMPENSATION

Girdhari Mishra v. State of Odisha

This case gives rise to two crucial question:-

Whether the block as a unit for the purpose of granting insurance
benefits is reasonable?

Whether the State Government is justified to make an assessment of
loss of area approach basis i.e. Block as unit and not Grama Panchayat
basis in case of failure of crop due to drought when the crop of the
individual farmers are compulsorily insured to indemnify their crop ?
Cont…

In this case it was observed by the court as follows:

In the facts situation, the right approach would have been to settle
the claim on an individual basis or taking 'Gram Panchayat' as defined
area for the purpose of awarding insurance claim to the drought
affected persons; more particularly, when premiums have been
collected by the Insurance Company on an individual basis while
advancing agricultural loans to individual farmers. Further case of the
State-opposite party is that from 2000-2011 each Gram Panchayat has
been taken as a 'Unit' for settling the insurance claim towards any loss
due to farmers on account of wide spread calamities.
Cont…


Suggi Devi and Others Vs. State of Bihar and Ors.
In this case the hon'ble court accept the plea of the petitioners and
held that according to the Agricultural insurance scheme introduced by
the central government the farmers are entitled to get damages for the
losses suffered by them, and allowed the petition.
APMC Act: how far beneficial to
farmers?

The Act has been enacted for the benefit of the farmers but the reality
is different. The benefits envisages by the act are not achieved in
reality.

The old model -APMC acts ran on two principles:

Ensure that intermediaries (and money lenders) do not compel farmers
to sell their produce at the farm gate @throwaway prices=farmer is not
exploited

All food produce should first be brought to the market yard=> sell
through auction=farmers gets good money.

Under this act:

A State is geographically divided and Market (Mandis) are established at
different places within the states.

Farmers have to sell their produce through the auction @mandi
Cont…

Under this act- Most Mandi traders do following:

Even after receiving the fruit/veggies/grains, they delay payment to
farmers for weeks and months.

If payment is done on spot, then trader would arbitrarily deduct
some amount, on excuse that he has not received payments from
the other parties.

To avoid tax/cess, the traders don’t give sale slips to farmers=>Later
it is difficult for farmer to prove his ‘income’ to get loans from
banks.

on an average basis the farmer is able to receive barely 1/4th to
1/3rd of the final retail prices
Cont…

To remove these problems the Model APMC act has been prepared
in 2003 by the Union government .

The problem is –agriculture being state subject it depends on the
State government of Concerned state to implement and adopt it.
Development v. Protection of
agricultural land

The economic development is must for any nation now a days.
Big projects are given permission by the government for this
reason. But many times the impacts of such projects are not
measured properly. For measuring future impacts of the
proposed projects on health, society and environment, we have
legal mechanism in the form of Environment Impact Assessment
in India Notification under Environment Protection Act, 1986 in
India.

But the debatable issue is the real report of the Environment
Impact Assessment by the project proponent.
Cont…

For example

The Government of India approved the establishment of 2x1000 MW
of Nuclear power plant units at Jaitapur in Taluka Rajapur, District
Ratnagiri, in Maharashtra in October 2005. However, to enable India
to have nuclear trade with other countries, owing to the
advancement in technology and in view of recent development in
international scenario of NSG waiver, Government of India now ‘in
principle’ has approved 6x1650 MW plant at the same location. The
Proposed Jaitpur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) is one of the largest
proposed projects in Asia. The report is a technical evaluation of
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared by NEERI.
Cont…

The EIA report does not provide any permanent storage of radioactive
waste, though it has discussed different ways of disposing the waste.
The proposed plant is 25 times bigger (with respect to Kalpakkam
nuclear power plant) but the EIA report anticipated that the radio
active disposal due to the operation of JNPP will not have any adverse
impact on land and water components of the surrounded environment.

The site selection of JNPP in the EIA report shows that it is a waste and
barren land but the topographical map of the proposed area shows the
area is a mixture of agricultural and grazing land.
Conclusion

Few challenges related to agricultural sector in India are discussed
here

We need to deliberate what remedies should be provided to these
present issues.

We should not forget that The sustainable agricultural development
and conservation strategies help in bringing climate justice.

Climate justice focuses on the root causes of climate change and
commitment to address the disproportionate burden of climate crisis
on the poor and marginalised. It requires systematic change from
unfair to fair distribution of worlds’ wealth. This global aim can be
achieved through proper strategic planning at national and regional
level and thus the social, economic and enviro-justice to people can
be achieved.
Thank You

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