Farmer protest Day II: Agrarian crisis is policy, politics driven, says Yogendra Yadav

The protesting farmers from various states across India are demanding implementation of Swaminathan Committee's recommendations, lower input costs, farm loan waiver and fair price for farm produce among other things.

Written by Pratyaksh Srivastava | New Delhi | Updated: November 21, 2017 7:55 pm
delhi farmers protest, yogendra yadav at protests, agrarian crisis, indian express In a sense what the farmers are questioning is policy and politics underlying the systematic neglect of the farmers,” said Yogendra Yadav. (Express Photo: Pratyaksh Srivastava)

Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday said that the “prevailing agrarian crisis in the country is not by accident but is policy and politics driven”. Speaking to during a farmers’ protest in the national capital, Yadav said, “We are witnessing a crisis which is built into our agrarian policy because our policies have been oriented towards production and not towards producer. Every year we come and say that production has gone up but we never say what has happened to the producer.”

He underlined that the country’s agrarian policies are an attempt to replicate a model of agriculture that was formed in a different land, in a different historical and economic situation. “They are not meant or suited for our conditions. There is no doubt that the present crisis is policy driven… it is also politics driven because there is a lack of political will to do anything about the farmer. In a sense what the farmers are questioning is policy and politics underlying the systematic neglect of the farmers,” added Yadav.

delhi farmers protest, agrarian crisis, swaminathan committee, indian express Farmers from states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Teleangana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh gathered at the Parliament Street on Tuesday. (Express Photo: Pratyaksh Srivastava)

The Swaraj Abhiyan leader is spearheading a protest of farmers from various states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana who have converged in New Delhi’s Parliament Street since Monday.

The protesting farmers are demanding implementation of Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations, lower input costs, farm loan waiver and fair price for farm produce among other things.

Besides Yadav, social activist Medha Patkar and CPI national secretary Atul Kumar Anjan are also participating in the protest.

On  the implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee, CPI leader Atul Kumar Anjan said: “Even if the recommendations are fully implemented, only 60-70 per cent of the problems being faced by the farmers will be addressed because ever since the Commission’s recommendations were made, the market forces have become more aggressive. At the same time, the government has given more rights to the market forces to determine the cost of the agricultural produce and to intervene in the rural markets. It should be investigated that how the market forces can be minimised in the interest of the farmer.”

Medha Patkar, while talking about the possible solutions for the agrarian crisis, said: “There needs to be a re-evaluation of the value of the farmers’ labour so as to solve the issue of disparity between machine- based products that are coming out through mass production and the human and nature based products which are produced by the masses.”

Tamil nadu farmers, delhi farmers protest, agrarian crisis, swaminathan committee, indian express Tamil Nadu farmers who have been protesting at the Jantar Mantar for months, also joined the protest that has been organised under the umbrella of All India Kisan Sabha. (Express Photo: Pratyaksh Srivastava)

The social activist agreed that the current crisis in agriculture is driven by policy rather than natural factors or accident.

“Corporations are ruling this country, they want to snatch away the land. But unless farming becomes a losing enterprise for the farmers, the corporates cannot take the land. No one will leave their land. Even now, farmers are not ready to give away their lands. They are becoming more and more aware,” added Patkar.

While addressing the farmers’ gathering, Yogendra Yadav announced that a ‘Kisan Mukti Andolan’ will commence on November 26 (the day India’s constitution was drafted) and will stretch till January 26 i.e. Republic Day. He also declared that All India Kisan Sabha(AIKS) will not allow even a single gunny sack of crop produce to be sold below the Minimum Support Price (MSP) during the ‘Kisan Andolan’.

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  1. K
    KS Randhawa
    Nov 22, 2017 at 6:46 am
    Government shall also assist famers build up infrastructure to lover the cost of production, specific crop zones must be developed based on research and markets be made available. Farmers should have more rights in selling their produce . Dalali shoud be discouraged Much more to be done on other issues too .
    1. S
      Nov 22, 2017 at 12:25 am
      From the 90s reportedly,the IMF and the World Bank ,are destroying India's agri sector,to - i.Ushering GMO in ii.Control the SUPPLY chains iii.Land grab by shafting the Farmers from their Land.Niti ayog,also wants India's Farmers LEAVE,and reside in cities,as workers. Land Grab by the MNCs,will adversely affect India's National Security Farmers' problems and suicides, are really Conspiracy,being hatched for years.
      1. K
        Nov 21, 2017 at 9:48 pm
        More than two lakh farmers have commtted suicide since the neolibral econo-mic policy was unleash-ed in the early 1990s. As right-ly stress-ed by Yogendra Yadav and Medha Patkar, agrarian crisis has been caused by ,market-orient-ed farm policies that favour corporat-ions and big grain merchants. The crisis is not mainly caus-ed by drou-ght, floods etc. . . . We need to note here that the BJP leaders rarely talk about farmers pli-ght, but they are busy offer-ing Rs 10 cr for the head of Deepika, busy talk-ing abo-ut 'love jihad', Taj Mahal etc.
        1. D
          Nov 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm
          I love my Food and want the interests of the Farmers to be respected,they feed a billion mouths.Farmers have been exploited by Middle men for decades and though i support the MSP given by the State,but it is wholely inadequate.Swaminathan report addressed all issues which the Farmers face today.Off late we hear that PM Crop Insurance which was touted hasnt seen the insured farmer get his insured amount.Sad to Read that Farmers are killing themselves.Loan waiver is no solution but a palliation.Implement the Swaminathan report immediately.
          1. J
            Jaam-Baaz Jaat
            Nov 21, 2017 at 6:48 pm
            Aabb yeahh aa gayaa Yogender Paad aaoo abaeyy chewtiyee dhadiyaal D.K. Bose Khujliwaal naeyy terraey peechwaadey paeyy laat maarr kaeyy bhaggaa diyaa tohh tuu aabb kissano Kaa maseehaa bannaeyy chaall diyaa. Sister kaeyy lawdaeyy kuchh naa hogaa teraa aurr Terii party kaa.
            1. B
              Batooni Kacchhua
              Nov 21, 2017 at 9:40 pm
              Hi, your comments are beautiful as usual. Just like your Mom.
              1. J
                Jaam-Baaz Jaat
                Nov 22, 2017 at 4:53 am
                Thanks for the compliments. Your name is also as beautiful as your mother and sister.
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