(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 03, 2010
Onto the All
conference of the All India Kisan Sabha will
be held at
The people of
the district took part on a large scale
in the non-cooperation movement. In Bapatla-Pedanandipadu regions,
freedom fighter Duggivala
Gopala Krishnaiah led the peasants and refused to pay taxes on farm
During the historic Telengana struggle,
agriculture has been going through severe distress
under the neo-liberal policy regime. Government policies during the
decades have not only intensified the plight of the farm sector
the peasantry and the agricultural labour, but also increased hunger
malnutrition among large sections of people. The situation has only
since the last conference.
several linkages between the global crisis
and Indian agriculture.
quantitative restrictions on agricultural trade
were removed under the WTO regime, there was steep decline in the
agricultural commodities in developing countries because of the
import of heavily subsidised cheaper agricultural goods into the
market. The farmers growing oil seeds and cotton have already been
This impact will spread to other commodities also.
cannot be made sustainable without
subsidy. The developed countries which give subsidies to the extent of
cent are compelling the developing nations to reduce it in order to
their market. Under their pressure the Indian government has cut
subsidy from 4
per cent to 3 per cent. This will adversely impact Indian agriculture.
the global economic slowdown,
For the past
two decades agriculture has been in
crisis due to decline in public investment, steep increase in input
collapse of output prices because of unrestricted cheap imports,
decline in the
amount and increase in the cost of institutional credit, decline in
development expenditure leading to weakening the research and extension
and the collapse of the public distribution system due to targeting.
agrarian crisis and slowdown of agricultural
growth in 2008-09 have had a severe impact in the rural areas. The
been compounded by the deficient monsoon and severe drought conditions
Kharif sowing this year. This has led to a drastic reduction in the
all the major crops. 23 of the 36 Met sub-divisions in the country
deficient rainfall ranging from 20 per cent to 59 per cent. Nearly 300
districts across the country have been declared as drought hit or
drought-like conditions. There has been a shortfall in paddy
the normal cropped area by nearly 76 lakh hectares, i.e. lower than the
year by 61.09 lakh hectares. The case of other crops like bajra, maize,
groundnut and sugarcane is also not encouraging. At the advent of the
season many states faced a situation of unprecedented floods that have
the standing crops. The floods have caused untold damage and loss of
conditions have led to a spate of suicides
in many states. According to NCRB farmers� suicides account for 14.4
of all suicides and for the six years from 2002 the annual average has
17,366 from 15,747 during 1997-2001. It must be noted here that women
are not acknowledged as farmers as land is normally not in their names.
existence is often seen only in terms of their relation to the male
Thus, countless women farmer suicides are excluded. The much-hyped
the suicide prone regions were limited in scope and related mainly to
within the farming community is natural.
Of the 89.33 million farm households in India nearly 43.42 million farm
households are indebted. Small and marginal farmers constitute 83.8 per
the farm households and of them 46.28 per cent are indebted. The
waiver scheme has also not addressed the loans from informal sources.
has not accepted the crucial proposals of the National Commission on
like the setting up of a price stabilisation fund for agricultural
universalisation of the crop insurance scheme, increased public
rural development, food subsidy and employment generation etc. The
recommendation of the Commission to reduce the interest rates to 4 per
which would have benefited farmers in distress has also not been
the Rural Poor
dispensation there has been a distinct trend to reverse land reforms
undermine land-ceiling laws. As a result of the agrarian distress, the
peasantry, particularly the poorer sections, are increasingly being
sell their assets including land and livestock. We are witnessing the
MNCs into the countryside in the form of contract farming and
as well as the dilution of ceiling laws in many states. Farmers are
increasingly becoming landless. The NSSO 63rd round estimates the
landless households as 35 per cent in 2006-07.
are many other issues
of exorbitant input costs, the Asean Free Trade Agreement, GM crops and
monopolies etc that plague the agrarian scenario.
It is against
that the All India Kisan Sabha at its 31st conference in
given the call to intensify struggles. Towards this end, the conference
also give a call to conduct jathas from the four corners of the
jathas culminated in a mass rally in Delhi on November 20, 2006 which
participation of over 40,000 people.
period, the AIKS was
also in the forefront for the implementation of the Tribal Rights Act
and the National
Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Together with the CITU and the
joint demonstration was conducted on April 18, 2007 all over India for
implementation of REGA and PDS, issue of ration cards and stoppage of
atrocities in different parts of the country which saw the
lakhs of peasants, workers and other common people.
fighting for remunerative
prices, the AIKS has also been in the forefront campaigning against
prices of essential commodities and food items in particular.
long campaign was conducted in July 2008
against the neo-liberal policies pursued by the central government
leading to the acute distress and pauperisation of the peasantry and
suicides in various parts of the country. The demands included
loan waiver scheme, credit at 4 per cent interest, reduction in prices
inputs and consumer goods, strengthen procurement on remunerative
prices of agricultural
produces, comprehensive crop insurance scheme, proper implementation of
and Tribal Rights Act and house sites for the landless.
further, the AIKS organised a
demonstration in Delhi on August 3, 2009 against price rise and
provision of adequate relief to the drought affected regions. A
of kisans from Haryana, Rajasthan and Western Uttar Pradesh
this protest rally.
the last conference witnessed a further deterioration in the agrarian
it has also seen an intensification of the struggles conducted by the
throughout the country and at the national level.
It is against
background that delegates assembling at Guntur during the four days
January 7 and 10, 2010 will deliberate
on the issues confronting the agrarian sector and chalk out the tasks