New Farm Laws: Are Middlemen Dispensable?

Thousands of farmers have been protesting against three new agriculture laws since they were enacted in September. The central government argues that the legislation seeks to bring in some key reforms in the sector. And one of the changes required, the government claims, is the elimination of middlemen – commission agents who generally double as money-lenders and are known as arhatiyas in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana. While the government claims that middlemen come in the way of profit-making in the agriculture sector, farmers disagree, saying they need these middlemen. 

In the video above, farmers and middlemen explain why.

StoriesAsia, a collective of independent journalists from 16 South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, seeks to replace the present-day parade of faceless numbers with humanising narrative nonfiction – a largely ignored journalistic genre in the region.

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