Many of us don’t know about an issue that is going in our country. Our food providers, our economic backbone, our lifesavers are on the roads in the extreme cold days of north India. Why are they protesting? How will the farm law amendment Affect them in the future? They are protesting because they have doubts about the government’s uncertainty. The government is trying to convey that it is for the wellness of farmers but it has failed to deliver their message to them.
Every year, the government announces Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for 22 crops before their sowing season which ensures farmers for the minimum profit they get for their product. Now, the issue is that only 6% of farmers can sell their crop at MSP, I think that 76% of farmers do not even know about MSP.
The issue is that farmers are only able to sell those two crops paddy and wheat on MSP which are purchased by the government. The rest of the crops go in an open market for purchase, and they don’t even get half of the MSP. There arises the main issue they have no security and surety that they will get the maximum price of their product or not. So, they demand to make MSP compulsory.
The second main issue is related to the whole country.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill states that to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion, and potatoes from the list of essential commodities, big companies will have the freedom to stock commodities. It means that they will dictate terms to farmers that may lead to low prices for the cultivators.
The black market will increase in India as the flow of the supply chain can be controlled by the companies, will regulate the price, and it will affect our pockets. Daily wage workers who are living in the urban areas of the country will find it difficult to afford food.
The third point is that the bill on contract farming states that farmers can enter into a contract with agribusiness firms and companies with the sale of future farming produces at a pre-agreed price. Marginal and small farmers account for 86% of the total farmers in India. This makes them weaker in terms of negotiating with big companies.
If 76% of farmers don’t even know about the MSP, then how they will study and understand agreements? Firms will take benefit of their unawareness and make a deal as per their own whims and fancies. Farmers may not benefit from technology transfer; there is also a risk of price distortion and reduced incomes for them.
There is not an able law in the amendments which gives surety and security to them. Farmers are not fighting for themselves, they are fighting for all of us.
Now it’s our choice to support our farmers or wait for the destruction of our society.