17 Mar 2009
Producers attending a large meeting of the national farmers’ organization Bharat Krishak Samaj this February, condemned the corporate model of agriculture being promoted across India, asked for urgent adoption of farmer-centric policy by the Government and the withdrawal of GM crops on health grounds.
Addressing the gathering, the organization’s president Dr.Krishan Bir Chaudhary highlighted that current Indian agricultural policies are causing serious suffering for many farmers, and even leading to a high rate of suicide among those working on the land.
Dr Chaudhary also called for action to mobilize youth as an immediate strategy to beat recession – with a focus on providing technical and financial assistance for agro-based small-scale productions to assist unemployed rural youths.
The farming leader was also critical about the existing policy of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and called for these areas to only be set up on barren land, and not on fertile regions which can supply food.
Chaudhary also expressed concern over the rapid spread of colonialization and India’s loss of food security in the hands of multinational corporations. ‘More than 1.6 lakh (hundred thousand) farmers committed suicide after India signed the WTO agreement’, he said. ‘When the country already has Seed Act 1968, what is the relevance of introducing one more Seed Bill in the Parliament? It is nothing but auctioning our original rights to the multinationals.’
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