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Why have the three agriculture reform laws angered India’s farmers?

Farmers shout slogans against the recent passing of agriculture bills Source: Getty Images/Supplied

Farmers in several states of India are holding strong protests against the three agriculture reform laws. Farmer's unions have expressed their apprehension that by allowing farming agreements, the big players and companies will capture the farming industry, which will harm the small and marginal farmers.

Farmers in Punjab, Haryana and other parts of India are continuing to hold strong protests against the three new agriculture laws passed by the Indian government.

Political parties, including Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), also opposed the agriculture sector reform bills, saying the new laws are against the interests of small and marginal farmers.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Punjab Unit President Balbir Singh Rajewal told SBS Punjabi, “The government is trying to manipulate farmers by giving all the powers to the corporate sector and once the private grain markets are established, the traditional grain markets will become history.”

Why are the three reformed agriculture laws angering the India's farmers?
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Punjab Unit President Balbir Singh Rajewal

"Under the current APMC act, arhatiyas (traders/commission agents) have to get a licence to trade in a mandi (market). The arhatiyas have credibility, as their financial status is verified during the license approval process," said Mr Rajewal. 

“But, under the new laws, the government has made it free for all, meaning any trader with a PAN card can buy the farmers’ produce. So how can a farmer trust these traders under the new law?

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