People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 32

August 11 , 2013

AIKS Conference Discusses
Issues in Four Commissions

N S Arjun

THE 33rd conference of All India Kisan Sabha on its third day, July 26, 2013, broke into four commissions and discussed threadbare four important topics. Written papers were presented by subject experts and Kisan Sabha leaders on which delegates from the states spoke. Later in the evening the presentations and discussions were summed up before the conference by the presenters.

AIKS CKC member Professor V K Ramachandran presented a 19-page discussion paper in the 'Commission on Changes in Agrarian Relations'. Ramachandran is the convenor of this Commission that has as its members E P Jayarajan, Madan Ghosh, Jitendra Choudhary and Ashok Dhawale. Madan Ghosh chaired the session.

Prof Ramachandran at the outset said that the state of agrarian relations must be seen in the overall context of State policy in India, particularly in the context of implementation of neo-liberal policies since last 20 years. Although the agrarian situation shows great continuity since Independence, there have been qualitative changes since onset of neo-liberal policies that must be taken note of. He enumerated those changes such as roll back of land reforms, decontrol of input and output prices, cutback on public infrastructure, weakening infrastructure for storage and distribution etc.

He briefly mentioned the major findings of the surveys carried out in 21 villages of nine states by Foundation for Agrarian Studies along with AIKS-AIAWU.

Ramachandran concluded his presentation saying that the ruling classes of India have proved that they are incapable of resolving the agrarian question. But unless that is resolved, the lot of millions of people living in poverty cannot be improved. It is here the Left and democratic movement has to play crucial role.

Three separate notes from Bengal, Kerala and Tripura dealing with the state of agrarian relations in their states were circulated on this occasion.


AIKS CKC member Professor Venkatesh Athreya presented the discussion paper in the 'Commission on Issues of Globalisation and Corporatisation relating to Agriculture'. This session was chaired by AIKS leader Hannan Mollah. The other members of the Commission included Professor Aribandi Prasada Rao and Professor G S Bakshi.

The paper attacks the new policy initiative of UPA-II government called 'Framework for supporting Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Integrated Agricultural Development (IAD) as an attempt to handover the peasantry to corporate monopolies and provide huge subsidies to the corporates. It expresses apprehension that in the absence of credible extension and research services, credit on reasonable terms, procurement at remunereative prices and infrastructural support from the public sector, sections of the peasantry are likely to accept the hegemony of the corporates. The paper notes that according to a senior government official, till late 2012, 35 proposals covering an area of 12 lakh hectares and 11.7 lakh farmers had been receieved from corporates, including from large players such as ITC and Nestle.

The argument of the government that small size holdings of land is a barrier to technology adoption and increasing of productivity was rejected in this paper. Even small size holdings can be productive if the government provides low cost inputs and caters to extension and research services. Also group and cooperative farming can be explored in this regard.

The paper calls for strongly opposing the government proposal to consolidate small holdings of land under the corporates. It calls for alternatives such as substantial increase in public investment in agriculture, timely provision of quality inputs at affordable prices, cheaper and larger credit, expansion and strengthening of extension and research facilities and prompt procurement at remunerative prices.

The rise in the incidence of contract farming, in which the peasant is always an unequal partner, is linked to the State's abandonment of even the most elementary forms of support to agriculture as well as policies of globalisation that have opened up India's natural resources for untrammeled exploitation by foreign monopoly capital. The paper advocates that given the reality of contract farming, it is important to demand both adequate State support to the peasant forced into contract farming by economic circumstances and a renewal and strengthening of State support to agriculture.


The discussion paper for the Commission on Agricultural Cooperatives and Viability of Production was presented by convenor P Krishna Prasad. The other members of the Commission included Pavitra Kar, Kisan Gujjar, Ramakumar and Amiya Patra.

The discussion paper for the Commission on Agriculture, Global Warming and the Environment was presented by convenor Professor T Jayaraman. The other members of the Commission were Kuldeep Tanwar, Avadesh Kumar, Khemraj Chettri and R Chandra.