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News18 farm reform survey shows overwhelming support for new laws

Majority of respondents of a wide-ranging survey conducted across 22 states and Union Territories call for end to farmer protests

Results of a wide-ranging nationwide survey released on Monday by News 18 network, India’s largest media company, show that the government’s farm reform laws have received overwhelming support from across the country, especially agrarian states that stand to benefit from these laws.

The majority of respondents of the #News18FarmReformSurvey—conducted in 22 states and Union Territories—want the ongoing protests led by farmers of Punjab who are against the farm reform laws to be called off. The survey was carried out by reporters of News18 network.

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The survey, which posed questions ranging from support to the farm reforms to choice for farmers to awareness of the new laws among 2412 respondents, showed that reform and modernisation in agriculture has drawn high support at 73.05% across all regions. Kerala expressed the most support at 96.59% while Maharashtra (86.11%), Odisha (85.5%) and Bihar (84.87%) too gave a big thumbs up to the need for reforms.

Up to 80.43% of respondents from Madhya Pradesh, 75% from Haryana, and 60% from Punjab, where this issue has become highly politicised because of intense political activity ahead of elections, 57.23% from Uttar Pradesh believe that the protests against the farm reform laws are politically motivated.

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Respondents from all zones supported offering farmers the right to sell produce outside Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis. The highest support came in North India (75.72%), followed by East (73.56%), West (70.28%) and South at 59.57%.

A key demand of the protesting farmers to repeal the ordinance on banning the burning of stubble found strong resonance among respondents based in North India. Up to 68.84%  of these respondents, who are affected in the last months of the year due to a perceptible spike in pollution levels due to stubble burning, said the demand is unjustified.

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