CACP trashes food Bill, says farm sector to be hit
As it is, Gulati argues, FCI and state government procurement is edging out private trade from major grain markets, the FSB will only make things worse.
The paper has a lot worse to say in terms of the impact of the FSB on the agricultural sector and on the country’s water table. For one, it points out, there has been a dramatic fall in the yields of wheat from the 1990s to the 2000s. Given this, and the fact that there has been a dramatic fall in the water table in major rice and wheat-producing states, the FSB will mean the water table will be further damaged and major investments will need to be made to achieve higher rice and wheat production.
Given that the need of the sector is to increase diversification — this fetches higher yields and is less water-intensive — the CACP paper argues the FSB will “also slow down or even regress the process of overall diversification in agriculture, and go contrary to the emerging demand patterns in the country” — while people are consuming more proteins out of choice, the wheat-rice-oriented FSB will be delivering something else.
Literature on best practices around the world, Gulati and his co-authors say, “shows that ‘income policy’ approach (cash transfers of the Aadhaar kind) rather than ‘price policy’ (selling grain at lower prices) is more efficient in achieving equity ends and this has been adopted successfully by many countries.”