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September 21, 2020

India food-processing minister quits over new farm laws

New laws in India drawn up to improve prices for farmers have led to the resignation of the country's minister in charge of food processing.

By Dean Best

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, India’s Minister of Food Processing Industries, has stood down, hitting out at new laws governing how farmers sell their produce.

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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
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India’s central government argues the laws will lift restrictions on farmers and improve the prices they receive. Farmers will be able to sell produce outside marketplaces, or mandis, that have been part of India’s structure of Agriculture Produce Market Committees.

“Farmers can sell their produce wherever they see more profit,” India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said today (21 September), quoted by Hindustan Times.

In further comments carried by The Times of India, Modi added: “This change in the farming sector is the need of the present hour and our government has brought this reform for the farmers.”

However, some farming organisations have opposed the new laws, raising fears about the bargaining power of smaller farmers. There have also been concerns about India’s minimum support price guarantee for farmers.

“APMCs will not shut down. The new laws are not against mandis and I also want to assure the country that the government will continue to buy farm produce at MSPs in every [farm marketing] season,” Modi said, according to Hindustan Times.

Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries since 2014, is the leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party in India’s lower house. SAD is part of India’s National Democratic Alliance coalition, which is led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In India’s 2019 general election, the alliance won 353 seats and more than 45% of the national vote.

“I have resigned from the Union Cabinet in protest against anti-farmer ordinances and legislation. Proud to stand with farmers as their daughter and sister,” Badal tweeted, hours before the bills were passed by Lok Sabha. The laws passed India’s upper house, Rajya Sabha, yesterday.

Narendra Singh Tomar, India’s Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, has been handed Badal’s brief.

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Free Report
img

What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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