AIKMS Statement on PM Declaration

PM declaration of ‘Post Harvest Agriculture Infrastructure’ deceives Farmers.

PM KISAN propaganda of fund for 8.5 crore families is JUST Rs 17 per day per family.

CEC of AIKMS has severely criticized the RSS-BJP govt for making a high decibel propaganda of the PM Kisan grant which is a paltry Rs 17 per day per family and an insult to the hard working peasants. It is cheating the farmers and fooling the people.

Prime Minister’s announcement of financing up to Rs 1 lac crore, over 4 years to promote ‘post harvest agriculture infrastructure’ for storage, cold storage and agro processing in villages is another hoax aimed at helping Multinational Agro Giants and their Indian partners to take control over processed food sector. It will further marginalize the peasants.

The 3 Agriculture Ordinances passed on June 5, 2020, the APMC has been modified to allow coroporates and MNCs to purchase food crops outside the purview of the mandis, as Mandi Samiti norms disallow large traders, companies, moneylenders from acquiring a license to purchase directly from peasants as they force peasants to reduce their prices.

The Contract Farming Ordinance further ties down the peasants, particularly the small and marginal peasants constituting 89% of the peasants of India through aggregators, FPOs, SHGs, Primary Agriculture Societies to the corporate and MNCs, force them to buy inputs from the Sponsor Company and also to sell their crop to them.

Indian agro processing by farmers and the rural entrepreneurs was given a big blow in 2000-01 when the then Vajpayee govt withdrew security of small manufacturers by removing 1429 items from the Quantitative Restrictions imports list. Modi finance will further help the MNCs, as the govt will build and sanction Mega Food Park Schemes and the Food Processing Units in them will be established by the corporate. The govt has refused to ensure that the investors in Mega Food Parks be forced to pay an assured minimum price for crop, as it will  be against the interest of the investors. The Indigo farmers crisis is being re-written.

Indian peasants will benefit only if this vast sector is allowed to grow with the govt providing infrastructure and training to promote rural entrepreneurs in the processed food chain market. That will spur rural employment, provide income to the poor and rejuvenate Indian markets.

CEC of AIKMS demands re-imposition of the QRs, withdrawal of the 3 Ordinances, ban on Corporate participation in agriculture marketing and food processing and provision of basic infrastructure to help develop peasant entrepreneurs in dairying, poultry, fishing, animal husbandry, food processing, etc.

(Dr. Ashish Mital)

General Secretary, AIKMS,

July 12, 2020