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Kisan Andolan: What are the 3 Important Things related to Farmer's Agitation? Analysis in Detail

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia

After a long time, the farmers of North India came out to streets in agitating mood against the Center's controversial three farm laws and made a stronghold of their opposition. However, this is happening in the National Capital after 32 years. As per sources, the farmers of UP who were somehow in support of bill now expressed dissatisfaction over the three farm laws.

The farmer leader, Mahendra Singh Tikait of western Uttar Pradesh reached the Boat Club with millions of farmers and sat on a dharna. There was a demand that sugarcane crop prices should be higher and electricity-water bills should be discounted, which was also fulfilled.

It has been over two weeks now and lakhs of farmers who have been standing on the Delhi border are stubbornly demanding the complete scrapping of contentious farm laws that has been implemented months ago.

On the other hand, the government has been showing interest to talk with them, but without scrapping or withdrawing the new far laws completely. While both sides are staying firm on their decision, the situation is going out of hand.

What are the three big questions related to Farmer's Agitation?

In the meantime, there are three big questions raising over the current scenario of Indian agriculture and the conditions of Indian farmers.

The history of the peasant movement in India is old and many protests have been witnessed during the last hundred years in Punjab, Haryana, Bengal, South and Western India.

This time too, something similar has happened and the farmers believe that what they wanted is not even mentioned in the new law. The central government has been trying to convince that in reality the new law will benefit the farmers as now farmers will be able to sell their crops to private companies directly and earn more money. But the reality is somehow not that bright as showcased. The farmers fear that it might trap them as the prey of privatisation and they will be left at the mercy of multinational companies and big corporate houses.

According to Professor R. Ramkumar, an expert on agro-economics at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, "The demand of the farmer has been the increasing of mandis, but this mandi system can be totally disappeared after the Implementation of new law."

He said, "It is also demanding the increase of procurement centers which should be opened in more states for the production of more crops, so that maximum farmers can get the benefit. But the government has opened the procurement centers mostly in states like Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.

Because of this there are more procurement in these centers and less in other states. There has also been a demand that contract farming is taking place in many places but there is no regulation, bring it in. " Because historically India has been an agrarian economy, obviously there have been changes in it. But most of the changes have been taking place in slow process.

Mekhala Krishnamurthy, a fellow of the Center for Policy Research and who teaches at Ashoka University, believes that after this movement, all eyes will remain on the government.

He told, "According to new agricultural legislation, we will enjoy free trade. You do not have to get a license in the market, you can trade anywhere. There are 22 states in India where it is already in force."

However, farmers fear that this will break the old mandi system where farmers can openly sell their produce.

And other main agenda is Minimum Support Price.

What farmers want and what they got in the new agricultural law?

Take a look at the three new laws that have caused controversy. According to The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation), 2020 law, farmers can sell their produce outside the mandis notified by the APMC i.e. Agriculture Produce Market Committee without paying taxes to other states.

The second law is - Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Service Act, 2020. According to this, farmers can do contract farming and market it directly. The third law is - Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. In this, apart from production, storage, sale of grains, pulses, edible oil, onions have been deregulated except in exceptional circumstances.

The third law is - Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. In this, apart from production, storage, sale of grains, pulses, edible oil, onions have been deregulated except in exceptional circumstances.

The government argues that with the new law, farmers will get more options and there will be good competition on the price. In addition, private investment in agricultural markets, processing and infrastructure will be encouraged. Whereas the farmers feel that their existing protection will also be lost by the new law.

What will be the future of Indian Agriculture?

The growing challenge in the Indian agriculture sector is more than demand. Farmers need new markets for their produce. This is perhaps the intention of the government to reduce the influence of mandis in the new law. But experts believe that one thing has been lacking in this process. Professor R Ramkumar says that "if there is a good discussion between the farmers' organization and the government, then there is a possibility to understand each other's problems and each other's attitude".

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