first_imgPost-Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) took to streets to express disapproval against ordinances notified by Modi government, the agriculture bills were subjected to contention and public debate. However, the parliament gave its nod to the three agriculture bills – Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation Bill), 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill. The government said these reforms will expedite investment for infrastructure and technology in the agrarian sector by facilitating the involvement of private players. The farmers argue that the government attempted to supersede the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism in the garb of ‘barrier-free trade’.A 2013 study named ‘A handful of corporations control world food production’ reveals that by 2013, three largest corporate companies controlled more than 50% of the agrarian market of the world. The study reads:Farmers are pressurised by corporations; they are paid low prices for their products such as soya, wheat and maize, and they pay high prices for seeds, pesticides, energy, fertilisers and animal feed. The record food prices of 2008 resulted in higher profits for corporations, and not for farmers who have to bear all the risks. Corporate lobbyists often also work in government institutions. They often successfully lobby for corporate interests on food standards, approval of pesticides, GM seeds, trade agreements, or the public research agenda.The same has also been evident for the agricultural community in colonial India under the incessant exploitation of British that resulted in ruthless zamindari system, arbitrary expulsion and unpaid labour whenever the peasant community rose in revolt. Even in the post-independent India, the production of enrichment cultivation with a variety of seeds has sunk to monoculture plantation of commercially valuable crops. In the Philippines, over 3,000 rice varieties were grown before the 1960s and were reduced to two rice varieties over 98% of cultivated area by the 80s.While the government worldwide boasts about avenues of free and global market available to farmers, rising agricultural prices soared the interest of investors in the agrarian economy.Every year, an area the size of France is sold or leased to foreign investors. This land grabbing particularly affects Africa.  In South America… Small-scale farming families are often violently evicted from their lands. They are frequently exposed to pesticide spraying and the consequences are diseases and birth defects. Palm oil plantations in Indonesia displace small-scale farmers, just as agrofuel plantations do in other regions like Africa or South America.This doesn’t sound alien to India provided its acrimonious history of abuse and displacement of tribals to expand mining and industries with a clearance of land, for crony capitalists to make a wad.The growth of global meat production provides huge profits for soya and grain trade. China’s massive soya and maize purchases and the droughts in Russia and Argentina in 2010 caused price fluctuations from which the trade giants profited. In the second half of 2010 alone, the value of Bunge (world’s largest soya producer, the only soya producer in many countries) shares increased by 30 %. Agrofuel targets in the EU, US and other regions expanded their trading opportunities further.Globally, the largest purchasers of agricultural produce have been responsible for hunger and starvation among the peasant community and small farmers. Small farmers are evicted out of the agrarian market by the pricing policy of corporations. Many Brazilian farmers are indebted to the corporate giant Bunge; which now has a claim on their harvest and land. Belgian scholar and UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food – Olivier de Schutter (2008-2014), criticized the pricing pressure and said low producer prices led to deteriorating social conditions. He called upon states to prevent unfair practices of trade with the removal of imbalances caused by market forces.Agricultural policy analyst ‘Devinder Sharma’ in conversation with ‘Dhruv Rathee’ points out how the corporatization of American agrarian society since the 1960s has only led to a decline in farmers’ incomes over the years. He also remarked that the government’s focus should be to improvise the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) specifying the defect of cartelization within mandis. Something that was also retained in the 2006 Swaminathan report by the National Commission on Farmers that suggested a law should be made for MSP to be at least 50% more than the weighted average cost of production.last_img read more