Farmers discuss contract farming law on day 5 of Kisan Sansad

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The fifth day of Kisan Sansad which runs alongside the monsoon session of Parliament saw farmers deliberating on the Contract Farming Law, 2020, according to a statement from Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday.

Claiming that the law was adopted by the government in an undemocratic and unconstitutional manner last year, the umbrella body of more than 40 farmers’ unions said: “This is a legal framework to facilitate the corporate agriculture and resource grabbing.

There were a total of three Kisan Sansad sessions held throughout the day which were moderated by farmer heads from different states.

Among the main topics of discussion were the threat to food security and environmental degradation caused by contract farming.

Several members shared their personal experiences of contract farming such as the rejection of products by companies in one suit or another after an entire season of work by the farmer.

They talked about how central law facilitates corporate farming and resource grabbing. The potential threat to food security from contract farming was highlighted, in addition to environmental degradation, SKM said.

He added that the debate on the law on contract farming will continue the next day.

The Kisan Sansad is part of the latest strategy of farmers protesting the three controversial agricultural laws of Delhi’s multi-border center since November last year.

Farmers have expressed fear of laws eliminating the minimum support price system and leaving them at the mercy of big business.

More than 10 rounds of talks with the government that drafted the laws as major agricultural reforms failed to break the deadlock between the two sides.

As part of these Kisan Sansad sessions, 200 farmers from protest sites participate in a mock parliamentary session in Jantar Mantar where issues concerning the farming community are discussed.

SKM has also expressed concerns over India’s Sea Fishing Bill, 2021, which is due to be tabled in Parliament in the current session.

Fishermen’s unions highlight how the bill makes it easier for companies to take control of the ocean’s fishery resources and envisions an extremely difficult registration and licensing process for traditional fishing communities and infringes on their fundamental right to life and livelihoods, SKM said.

He added that the drafting of the bill was non-participatory and that no traditional fisherman was consulted or included in the process.

Commending the farmers’ persistence in continuing their fight despite the rains, the agricultural union said protesters stirred at the Delhi borders as well as in Jantar Mantar with joy and without complaint.

However, he added, patchy and inadequate showers at the onset of the monsoon this year resulted in significant planting shortfalls in several states across the country, and claimed farmers had received no help from government authorities.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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