India, Sept. 24 -- Should India's farmers have the economic freedom to market their produce to whoever and wherever they want at an agreed price? Unequivocally yes. Will the government's recently-legislated farm bills grant this freedom to farmers? The answer is an unequivocal no.

Let us understand this through the example of Prashant Gawande, a small farmer in Akola, Maharashtra, with a three-acre farm. He has just harvested soyabean and needs to sell his produce quickly so as to repay the debt taken to produce the crop. The nearest Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) market yard for Gawande is 25 km away where licenced traders will bid for his produce, starting with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) declared by the government. He c...