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Topic: Model APMC Act
Now that the farm laws are being repealed, a good starting point would be to understand what's worked well with the APMC mandi system and what hasn't.
Only 17 out of 35 states & union territories have adopted the Model APMC Act 2003, aimed at streamlining the agricultural markets. In May this year, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that more than 12,000 farmers commit suicides in India annually since 2013. One of the reasons behind this disturbing trend is said to be the existence of middlemen, who allegedly exploit the farmers with the promise of future payments that never materialise. Even the Model Agricultural Produce Markets Committee Act, 2003—which was enacted to liberalise the agriculture sector and make the APMCs more responsible—proved to be a dud with only 17 out of 35 states & union territories adopting this roadmap to change the system. Things are no different in Delhi’s Azadpur Mandi, the largest APMC authorised market in India, where allegations of corruption and unfair trade practice have almost derailed the system. Text by Priyamvada Grover, photographs by Nayanika Chatterjee Auction...