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India Farm and Forest

SHOCKING! Nearly 3 lakh farmers died due to loan debts in the last two decades!

Farmers organisations revealed some disturbing statistics in a pamphlet talking about the two-month farmers’ struggle and the history of farmers’ issues associated with it.

Sabrangindia 25 Jan 2021

Image Courtesy:indiatimes.com

Farmers cannot lose because they are on the right side of justice, said a pamphlet issued by local farmers organisations of northern India on January 20,2021.

The Jan Sangharsh Manch Haryana, Mehnatkash Kisan Morcha and Inquilabi Kendra Punjab circulated a pamphlet that voiced the various failings of the central government in the agri-sector while also listing various demands of farmers.

Organisations said that the on-going farmers’ struggle highlighted farmers’ issues that resulted in the death by suicide of nearly three lakh farmers in the last two decades such as loans and debts.

“The government policies that guaranteed ‘great production and prosperity’ have led to a type of farming that caused ‘great production and destruction,’” said the pamphlet.

Further, organisations claimed that the policies focused on making profits for companies compelled farmers into using an indiscriminate amount of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. This has destroyed at least 25 percent of farmland. Current market procedure and land acquisition rules also complicate matters for farmers. The pamphlet said that such problems force farmers to take drastic steps.

“Every half an hour, a farmer dies by suicide and every day 2,300 farmers leave farming,” they said.

Organisations also questioned farmers’ state of poverty in the country. Referring to a non-government survey that used National Sample Survey figures, leaders said that a farmer’s average monthly income is Rs. 2,117 which is less than their average monthly expenditure of Rs. 2,700.

“Farmers are being pushed into the chaos of poverty and helplessness through these policies. Every year the government brings in populist schemes that fail to improve farmers’ lives,” said the organisations.

According to Krishi Census 2015-16, around 86.2 percent of farmers’ population is marginal of small farmers. However, only 10 percent of marginal and small farmers avail government policies and subsidies. Most of these schemes benefit big farmers.

In fact, marginal farmers struggle to get government loans. The government continues to ignore farmers’ demand for loan waivers yet agrees to waive the outstanding amount of Rs. 3.5 lakh crores of 11 industrialists. Organisations demand that the government should think of farmer loans before relieving big corporates.

“This fight against the three farm laws benefiting big corporates and Modi-regime also strives to solve farmers issues. These problems have been going on for a long time… If we lose this fight, then national and foreign corporates will destroy us,” said farmers organisations.

Accordingly, the three groups put forward eight important demands of farmers:

1.       Repeal the three farm laws namely, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

2.       Legalisation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and procurement.

3.       Universalisation of Public Distribution System (PDS.)

4.       Repeal of proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020.

5.       Repeal of clauses of Pollution Control laws penalizing farmers for stubble burning.

6.       Withdrawal of all National Investigation Agency (NIA) cases filed against farmers and supporters.

7.       Non-interest government loans for small and marginal farmers and government subsidies for seed, fertilizer and electricity and other facilities.

8.       Government policies to encourage small and marginal farmers to participate in cooperative farming.

Organisations also reminded readers about the Kisan Republic Parade on January 26, to decry the three laws forcibly passed by the central government.

Related:

Farmers journey to Mumbai is about to begin
Farmers win! Republic Day 2021 will be celebrated with unique tractor march
At least 10 lakh farmers will march on Republic Day: AIKMS
Farmers rights are human rights: Protesters at Tikri Kalan
Farmer leaders consider Centre’s proposal to suspend farm laws for 18 months
To be food secure, India must grow its own food grains: JNU professors
Do farmers’ demands benefit India’s hungry population?
Over 42,000 workers from informal sector allegedly die by suicide

SHOCKING! Nearly 3 lakh farmers died due to loan debts in the last two decades!

Farmers organisations revealed some disturbing statistics in a pamphlet talking about the two-month farmers’ struggle and the history of farmers’ issues associated with it.

Image Courtesy:indiatimes.com

Farmers cannot lose because they are on the right side of justice, said a pamphlet issued by local farmers organisations of northern India on January 20,2021.

The Jan Sangharsh Manch Haryana, Mehnatkash Kisan Morcha and Inquilabi Kendra Punjab circulated a pamphlet that voiced the various failings of the central government in the agri-sector while also listing various demands of farmers.

Organisations said that the on-going farmers’ struggle highlighted farmers’ issues that resulted in the death by suicide of nearly three lakh farmers in the last two decades such as loans and debts.

“The government policies that guaranteed ‘great production and prosperity’ have led to a type of farming that caused ‘great production and destruction,’” said the pamphlet.

Further, organisations claimed that the policies focused on making profits for companies compelled farmers into using an indiscriminate amount of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. This has destroyed at least 25 percent of farmland. Current market procedure and land acquisition rules also complicate matters for farmers. The pamphlet said that such problems force farmers to take drastic steps.

“Every half an hour, a farmer dies by suicide and every day 2,300 farmers leave farming,” they said.

Organisations also questioned farmers’ state of poverty in the country. Referring to a non-government survey that used National Sample Survey figures, leaders said that a farmer’s average monthly income is Rs. 2,117 which is less than their average monthly expenditure of Rs. 2,700.

“Farmers are being pushed into the chaos of poverty and helplessness through these policies. Every year the government brings in populist schemes that fail to improve farmers’ lives,” said the organisations.

According to Krishi Census 2015-16, around 86.2 percent of farmers’ population is marginal of small farmers. However, only 10 percent of marginal and small farmers avail government policies and subsidies. Most of these schemes benefit big farmers.

In fact, marginal farmers struggle to get government loans. The government continues to ignore farmers’ demand for loan waivers yet agrees to waive the outstanding amount of Rs. 3.5 lakh crores of 11 industrialists. Organisations demand that the government should think of farmer loans before relieving big corporates.

“This fight against the three farm laws benefiting big corporates and Modi-regime also strives to solve farmers issues. These problems have been going on for a long time… If we lose this fight, then national and foreign corporates will destroy us,” said farmers organisations.

Accordingly, the three groups put forward eight important demands of farmers:

1.       Repeal the three farm laws namely, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

2.       Legalisation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and procurement.

3.       Universalisation of Public Distribution System (PDS.)

4.       Repeal of proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020.

5.       Repeal of clauses of Pollution Control laws penalizing farmers for stubble burning.

6.       Withdrawal of all National Investigation Agency (NIA) cases filed against farmers and supporters.

7.       Non-interest government loans for small and marginal farmers and government subsidies for seed, fertilizer and electricity and other facilities.

8.       Government policies to encourage small and marginal farmers to participate in cooperative farming.

Organisations also reminded readers about the Kisan Republic Parade on January 26, to decry the three laws forcibly passed by the central government.

Related:

Farmers journey to Mumbai is about to begin
Farmers win! Republic Day 2021 will be celebrated with unique tractor march
At least 10 lakh farmers will march on Republic Day: AIKMS
Farmers rights are human rights: Protesters at Tikri Kalan
Farmer leaders consider Centre’s proposal to suspend farm laws for 18 months
To be food secure, India must grow its own food grains: JNU professors
Do farmers’ demands benefit India’s hungry population?
Over 42,000 workers from informal sector allegedly die by suicide

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