Saturday, July 24, 2021

TOPIC

agriculture reform

The rich-poor farmer divide

These rich farmers for long have been like some parasite sticking on to the sector and sucking out of it any potential for growth. We have to dismantle this hegemony, because as long as they are sitting at the top, they won't allow anything to trickle down.

Part-9: What is the path forward?

By demanding more MSP and trying to finish the private sector by asking for mandatory MSP, can the farmers decide that India should stop investments in infrastructure, education, schools, defence, manufacturing and route all their funds only to farmers?

Part-8: The issue of giving MSP prices to all farmers

Blind mistrust of corporates is dangerous. There are only two options for investments, Governments and the private sector. If governments have not delivered, it has to be the private sector.

Part-7: Will farmers get a bad deal by privatization?

It is rather inane to say that Mandis would shut down because of privatization as the Indian Government is duty bound to provide foodgrains to the very poor through the PDS in the foreseeable future.

Part-6: Are the protests non-political?

While the ruling party has accused the Congress, SAD and AAP of both promising and supporting changes in APMC earlier and now walking back on their word, these parties in turn accuse the BJP of the same hypocrisy of opposing farm law reform during Congress rule.

Part-5: Are farmers from all over India protesting?

Contrary to mischievous media reports that “All Indian Farmers are up in arms”, it would be more accurate to say that “Rich Punjabi farmers, middlemen and loansharks are up in arms” against agricultural reform.

Part-4: Who are the vested interests

The middlemen (arhatiyas) are the most hurt through the farmer law changes. They used to get away charging 2% commission to the farmers and charging between 8.5%-14.5% from the traders without adding any value.

Part-3: Long term consequences of no reforms

Agricultural survey indicate that farmer are not blind to their predicament - about 40-50% of children of farmers want to get out of farming and want nothing to do with it.

Part-2: What is the current condition of Indian agricultural supply chains

Because farmers are short sighted, they fail to understand their best welfare is to notice economic trends in the market. They need to move towards less water intensive and more remunerative options like poultry, milk, fruits and vegetables like other agricultural economies.

Part-1: Introduction to Indian agriculture reforms

Part 1 of a 9 part series: Doleouts, subsidies and lack of foresight has meant that Indian agriculture has deteriorated into a logjam of vested interests trying to push forward their interests at any cost, with little regard to the welfare of the poor farmers on the ground or their own future.

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