Displacing farmers out of their farmland is the neo-liberal economic growth model – prescribed by World-Bank so that India can throw away its agrarian economy and embrace the new world order.
The govt already have established its control over water, forests, seeds, agriculture markets – and now it wants to take away the small piece of security which the farmers have – his land. I don’t
see SEZ , contract farming as anything else other than a move to displace farmers… Things like contract farming is already depleting our resources – we have seen in Maharashtra sugarcane replacing rice and wheat and it eats approx three times the water required as the farmers have a bond with the mill. Same for floriculture and types like rose farming – there are many more…
In the end the contracting firms hand over a over utilised barren land back to the farmers who can do nothing with it… you can say that setting up farm markets, lending credit, providing genetically modified seeds is ‘the’ way to go – but in the end the entire food chain will be controlled and manged by corporates but at what cost…
The Govt by way of encouraging contract farming, future trading in farm commodities, land leasing, allowing land-sharing corporates, by direct procurement of farm produce, by amending the APMC Act will only drive out a majority of farmers out of subsistence agriculture. Check out North America or European Union – Agri Cos and farmers are never friends – and a hell lot of the farmers have been forced to quit agriculture! As of now there are hardly 700K farmers left in US alone.
And SEZ is more devastating to this poor group of people – if things go this way , then be prepared to welcome hundreds of millions of a new breed of agricultural refugees who will sure move into the urban areas for a chance of living … the World Bank estimate is 400 million by the year 2015… which again is more than the population of many countries! And where does this leads to ? – Obviously a form a social unrest never seen before !
And this have all the ingredients to fuel the Naxalite threat that India is going through currently. Which again raises the question of over dependence on military and police by the state who are already stretched out.
I think what the government needs is not get over obsessed to design new taxes and hike revenues which remain grossly under-utilised or does not reach the people for whom they are meant to be. What they need is to make proper utilization of this Billions to reach the farmers in strengthening them in every possible way as they form the basic pillars of this country.
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