Niti Aayog to kick-start farm sector reforms

In a bid to revive the farm sector, the Central government wants to expedite action in three key issues—land leasing, taking the farmer out of cumbersome green laws, and scrapping of Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Acts.

Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand will hold a meeting on Friday with representatives of Central and state governments over the three issues. Senior officials from the Union Ministries of Agriculture and Environment will meet the key officials from states looking after revenue, agriculture, and environment.

At present, there is not much clarity regarding land leasing, though the Aayog drafted a model law some time ago. The progress in this regard will be reviewed at the meeting.

Top functionaries will also deliberate on a big problem that farmers face today. The rules and regulations regarding the cutting of trees are extremely tough and burdensome for farmers, many of whom are not very educated. They find it difficult to comply with them. So, they have stopped planting trees in their fields, lest they need the land in the future.

The officials will also study the progress on the scrapping of APMC Acts. A few states like Maharashtra have done that but new rules have not been notified.