October 23, 2018 7:30 pm Tuesday
Lamakaan invites Nirmala, a social activist, currently working with farmers to give us an insight into policies that are less inclusive of small and marginal land holding farmers. On October 23, Lamakaan wants to throw light on the key issues plaguing agriculture, crippling the farmers and the shameful politics around it.
She says, ‘Each of us (the non-farming folks) have our plates full of food at the cost of farmers. It is time to raise our voice in solidarity, march in solidarity. Agricultural crisis is no longer the crisis of the farmer alone, it is a national crisis.’
Recently the central government declared the MSP for 22 mandated crops. Firstly, the declared MSP is not in line with recommendations of the Swaminathan committee of weighted average cost of production + 50%. Farmers had a short-lived smile on their face with the announcement. What is the point of declaring an MSP, when the government has expressed no intention of opening up procurement centres.
In August and September this year, farmers sold green gram (moong dal) anywhere from ₹3,900 to ₹5,300 per quintal in the open market. The MSP for moong was declared ₹6,975 per quintal, but no procurement centre was opened. Unable to hold on to their produce, many small and marginal farmers dumped moong in market yards bearing losses. Some medium and large farmers believed that the centres would open and held on to their produce. As more and more moong reached markets, the price stumbled further, procurement centres were not opened and farmers finally realized that it was not worth the wait.
Declaring MSP turned out to be an election stunt, with no results, or even genuine productive intentions behind it.
Even in cases where procurement centres were opened, like in the case of Karnataka, the government declared that it will only procure a small amount which meant that many farmers were left out and resorted to selling in open markets at low prices, paying exploitative commissions to traders, getting cheated in weighing etc.
To quote another instance, black gram which we buy at ₹80 to ₹90 per kilo in Hyderabad is sold by farmers at ₹25 per kilo in Narayanpet.
The event will discuss these issues in the context of the futility of only enhancing and increasing loan waivers. The aim of this discussion is to spread awareness of the angst of small and marginal land holding farmers, and the need to participate in the march for justice.
ALL ARE WELCOME!!!