Understanding the Farmers’ Union Standpoint: Rejecting Contract Farming and Advocating for MSP

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) recently made headlines by supporting the decision of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha-Non Political (SKM-NP) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) to reject the Centre’s proposal of a five-year contract farming for five crops. This stance underscores the ongoing struggle of farmers in India and their steadfast commitment to safeguarding their rights and livelihoods.

The farmers’ union vehemently criticized the notion propagated by certain “experts” that guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops could lead to a “fiscal disaster”. They dismissed this argument as reflective of the interests of corporate forces rather than the welfare of farmers and the agricultural sector as a whole.

According to the SKM, ensuring legally guaranteed procurement does not solely entail the government paying and procuring crops at MSP. Instead, it entails fostering an environment where corporate entities share their profits with farmers by offering remunerative prices. Moreover, the union advocates for active involvement from both Union and state governments, as well as the public sector, to support producer cooperatives and non-corporate private entities in post-harvest operations, processing, storage, infrastructure development, and branded marketing.

By advocating for this policy shift, the SKM believes that it will not only empower farmers but also generate employment opportunities, improve wages for workers and farmers, and contribute to increased tax revenue for both state and central governments. This holistic approach aligns with the union’s vision of a sustainable and equitable agricultural ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders.

The SKM’s press release also sheds light on the dire humanitarian crisis unfolding in rural India. It emphasizes the prevalence of poverty, indebtedness, unemployment, and rising prices, which collectively contribute to the agrarian distress gripping the countryside. By highlighting these issues, the SKM underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reforms and support mechanisms to alleviate the suffering of farmers and rural communities.

In essence, the stance taken by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha reflects a broader struggle for social and economic justice within India’s agricultural landscape. It calls for meaningful dialogue, inclusive policies, and concerted efforts to address the systemic challenges facing farmers and pave the way for a more equitable and sustainable future.

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