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Farmer Protest and Demand: Complete Analysis

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Farmer Protest: Farmers aligned with organizations like the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) and the nonpartisan Samyukta Kisan Morcha are preparing for a collective movement, originating from different parts of Punjab. Despite tightened security measures at the borders of Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi, the farmers are steadfast in their plan to stage the ‘Chalo Delhi’ protest on February 13th. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the ongoing protests by farmers in India, their demands, and the significance of Minimum Support Price.

Why in the news?

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are currently on their way to Delhi as part of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest, where they’re demanding legal assurances for the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

In 2020, farmers vehemently opposed three agricultural laws enacted by the government. Their sustained protests at the borders of Delhi eventually led to the repeal of these laws in 2021. These laws included:

1. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act

2. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act

3. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

One of the key concerns for farm unions is ensuring the Minimum Support Price (MSP) gets legal backing. They’re demanding that MSP be given a statutory status.

In addition, we will explore the demands of the ongoing farmers’ protest in India, focusing particularly on the issue of MSP. And for those preparing for competitive exams like UPSC, we offer FREE DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS to help you stay updated and prepared. Simply click the link above to access this valuable resource.

Farmers protest in India

What are the Demands of Farmers Protest in India?

What Do Farmers Demand?

The primary demand in the farmers’ agenda revolves around ensuring a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops, following the recommendations of the Dr. M. S. Swaminathan Commission. This commission suggests setting MSP at least 50% higher than the weighted average cost of production, known as the C2+50% formula. It includes various factors like the imputed cost of capital and land rent to ensure farmers receive adequate returns for their efforts.

Other demands include:

1. Complete debt waiver for farmers and laborers.

2. Enforcement of the Land Acquisition Act of 2013 guarantees that farmers must provide written consent prior to land acquisition, along with compensation set at four times the collector rate.

3. Justice for the victims of the October 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri killings.

4. Withdrawal from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and halting all free trade agreements (FTAs).

5. Pensions for farmers and farm laborers.

6. Compensation for farmers who lost their lives during the Delhi protest in 2020, along with providing employment to one family member.

7. Scrapping the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.

8. Extending employment under MGNREGA to 200 days per year, with a daily wage of Rs 700, and linking the scheme with farming.

9. There are stringent penalties in place for companies involved in the production of counterfeit seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers, with a simultaneous focus on enhancing seed quality.

10. Establishing a national commission for spices such as chili and turmeric.

11. Safeguarding the rights of indigenous peoples over water, forests, and land.

Farmer Protest: About MSP 

What is the Minimum Support Price (MSP)

Imagine you’re a farmer, and you just harvested your crops. But what if market prices suddenly crash, leaving you with little to nothing for your hard work? That’s where the Minimum Support Price comes in.

Think of it as a safety net for farmers. It’s a guaranteed price the government promises to pay for certain crops if market prices fall below that level. It’s like an insurance policy, ensuring farmers receive a fair minimum income for their produce.

Who decides the MSP?
A special government body called the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) does the math. They consider various factors, like:

  • How much it costs to grow the crops (seeds, fertilizer, labor, etc.)
  • Supply and demand in the market
  • Prices of other crops (to make sure things are fair)

What crops are covered?
Currently, this applies to 22 key crops, including rice, wheat, pulses, and oilseeds. Sugarcane also has something called a “fair and remunerative price” (FRP).

Why is MSP important?
Protects farmers from low market prices: If prices crash, the government steps in to buy at the MSP, preventing farmers from losing money.

Encourages farmers to grow different crops: Knowing they have a guaranteed price can make farmers more willing to experiment with new crops, good for both farmers and consumers.

Reduces poverty and distress: Stable income for farmers means less poverty and hardship in rural areas.

Challenges and debates:
While MSP is helpful, there are ongoing discussions about how to improve it. Some concerns include:

Cost to the government: Paying high MSPs for all crops can strain government finances.

Market distortion: Guaranteed prices might discourage private companies from investing in storage and processing, potentially limiting long-term growth.

Not all crops covered: Many farmers grow crops not covered by MSP, leaving them without this safety net.

Way Forward : Indian Farmer Protest and Demand

Finding a sustainable solution to the farmers’ protests and the MSP issue requires a collaborative effort, open dialogue, and a willingness to explore innovative approaches. By prioritizing inclusivity, data-driven decision-making, and flexible solutions, we can work towards a future where the agricultural sector thrives, ensuring fair returns for farmers and contributing to national food security and economic growth.

Conclusion | Indian Farmers Protest

This article talks about the ongoing protests by farmers in India and why they are in the news. The protests are mainly about a thing called MSP, which stands for Minimum Support Price. Farmers want MSP because it ensures they get a fair price for their crops and helps them have stable incomes.

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