farm sectors reforms in india

Farmer protests in India

Agriculture forms an important part of economy and employment for any country, and India is not exception with more than 50% of our population engaged in agriculture sector. Therefore, the frequent unrest and protests we see among farmers would not only effect their condition but also the country’s economy.

Farmers agitation is farmers expression of growing anxiety and stress in agriculture sector. This is also to protest against unfulfilled promises related to increase of MSP as per recommendations of the Swaminathan commission & waiving of bank loans, about the crop insurance, or about the land usage rights. Stress and anxiety came out from the difference between input;peasants put in their crops and the ultimate output they get at the end of the season.

Farmers choose to protest a march, constitute a movement, or to stage a rally because it would disturb the common people and also divert the attention of government towards farmers problems.

Every farmer agitation or movement has its own demands and causes for which they are protesting. Also, its not only a economic problem anymore but a major political issue. Often, opposition support and participate in these type of movements to highlight the mistakes of ruling party.

Some organisations, or committees play a vital role in awaring peasants about their rights and also guide them to protest or do march to fulfill their demands. Like;AIKS,KRRS etc.

Minimum Support Price

It is the minimum price fixed by Government of India to protect the producers i.e the  farmers , at the starting of any sowing season. This price is fixed at 50% more of the cost value which farmer put in production of the crops. This is done on the recommendation of CACP(Commission for Agricultural costs and prices) .

CACP has three definitions for Cost Production i.e

  1. A2(Actual paid cost)
  2. A+FL(Actual paid out cost with imputed value of family labour)
  • C2(Comprehensive cost including imputed rent & interest on owned land & capital)

Among all these 3 definitions C2 is highest & A2 is lowest.【 C2>A2+FL>A2】

Why MSP is beneficial?

Main objective of setting MSP is to support farmers from distress sales and to procure food grains for public distribution. Also it was introduced to reduce farmers suicide, which was highly increased in last few years.

In 2006, A report was presented by M.S Swaminathan commission, in which the key recommendation was to setup MSP at cost  value+50% of the cost. And this has become the oft-repeated demand of almost every farmers agitation, alongwith some more of their additional demands.

M.S Swaminathan Commission report on MSP

Due to increase in farmers suicide, and increasing NPAs(Non-Profit Asset) due to bad loans which farmers couldn’t pay and that too is the biggest reason for them to end their lives, because they think killing themselves would end the debt. Seeing this condition of the primary sector of country i.e agriculture. A commission was formed in 2004 when their was UPA Gov.

#   A National Commission on Farmers(NCF) was constituted on November 2004,which was chaired by Prof. Swaminathan. He presented five reports through the period of Dec2004-Oct2006. He focused on causes of Farmers Distress and Rise in Farmers Suicide.

Though, after the government was changed; commission’s recommendations was being ignored and not implemented properly in benefit of peasants or farmers. That is the main reason for the anger of farmers and recently peasants of several states are uniting together to express their protest and demands. Implementation of M.S Swaminathan commission is one most repeated demand of almost every farmer agitation.

Major farm movements in India

 Telangana Rebellion(1947-51)- It was launched in Andhra Pradesh against the former Nizam or the feudal Lords(jagirdars) of Hyderabad.

It was armed rebellion led my Communist Party with slogan land for the tiller.

The main causes were: (a)Exploitation of big peasants, and (b)To pull down the dominance of Brahmins as Agriculturists in state.

It was not so successful for the peasants or farmers. But, this revolt ensured the victory of Communist Party in 1952 elections.

 Naxalbari Peasant Struggle(1967)- This was a violent peasant agitation which took place between March-April of 1967 in Darjeeling district of West Bengal.

The main causes were:(a)Economic Dissatisfaction,(b)Reasonable distribution of Benami lands,(c) Nationalisation of Forests,(d) Exploitation by money lender.

Their prime objective was to change the whole society, not only peasants. This was also not very successful, and the main reason for the failure was lack of Consensus among leaders and also too much faith in violence.

 Recent Peasants Movements in India

As the failure of ruling government in implementing the exact recommendations of swaminathan commission, recently huge hike is founded in farmers agitation. Some of the recent movements in different states of country are-

  • Around 20 farmers from Tamil Nadu protested for complete 100 days at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in September 2017There leader was Ayyakanu.

 Demands were- (a) Farm loan waiver, (b) Crop Insurance, (c) Setting up of Cauvery Management Board.

  • Seven states- Haryana,Punjab,Rajasthan,Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,Karnataka announced a 10 day strike from June 1st’2018.Their protest was under the banner of “Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Maha Sangh(RKMM)”.

{ Demands were: A complete Loan waiver and Implementation of Swaminathan Commission.}

Daily supplies like; milk and vegetables got  hit over the course. Also, the RKMM convenor Shiv Kumar Sharma told about “Gaon Band” stir to be held across 22 states on the last day of strike(10th June).

 

  • Second big movement was seen in beginning of this year which started from Madhya Pradesh and was ended in

All India Kisan Sabha has been in a constant movement in Maharashtra for past two years for fulfilling the demands of farmers.

On March 6,2018, the Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha(A All India Kissan Sabha) led a massive march on foot(approx. 200km) by uniting several Kisan Aayogs(50,000 peasants) of different Indian states from Nashik to Mumbai. Under the banner of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee(AIKSCC}. This march was given the name of Kisan Yatra’.  Kisan Sabha organization is linked to Communist party(Marxist) of India.

Farmers protests to oppose 3 new Farm laws

Union govt made 3 new laws in 2020, which were reasons for farm protest and blocking Delhi borders by farmers from North India.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020

  • expands the scope of trade areas of farmers’ produce from select areas to “any place of production, collection, aggregation”.
  • allows electronic trading and e-commerce of scheduled farmers’ produce.
  • prohibits state governments from levying any market fee, cess, or levy on farmers, traders, and electronic
  • trading platforms for the trade of farmers’ produce conducted in an ‘outside trade area’.

Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020

  • provides a legal framework for farmers to enter into pre-arranged contracts with buyers including mention of pricing.
  • defines a dispute resolution mechanism.

Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

  • removes foodstuff such as cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, from the list of essential commodities, removing stockholding limits on agricultural items produced by Horticulture techniques except under “extraordinary circumstances”
  • requires that imposition of any stock limit on agricultural produce only occur if there is a steep price rise

Conclusion

In this article, we have shared you history of recent farm protests and what is MSP and major farming issue. This topic can be asked in your written exam or during interview or GD stage for your competitive exam or company placement. We hope that this article will help you gain more knowledge on the issue. If you need any help, you can contact us.

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