Deadlock on Farm panel

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Deadlock on Farm panel

  • Recently Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry formed a committee.

Recent developments

  • Objective of the Committee
  • Promote zero budget-based farming
  • Change crop patterns in line with changing needs of the country
  • Make MSP more effective and transparent
  • Three slots were kept vacant in 28-member committee to accommodate nominees of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).
  • An umbrella body of about 300 farmers’ organisations, led the protests against three farm laws.
  • SKM rejected the government’s offer and said it will not send any of its representatives to the panel.

Why is the farmers’ organisation upset?

  • SKM wanted to know terms of reference of the proposed committee.
  • There were no replies to these queries.
  • They are upset that former Agriculture Secretary is chairman of the panel as he was at the helm when Centre launched three farm laws as ordinances.
  • It also alleges that Niti Aayog member who is also in panel was the main advocate of farm laws.
  • Five members representing other farmers’ associations are either directly associated with BJP-RSS or support their policies.

What do the farmers want?

  • Farmers want legal guarantee of MSP, as per the recommendation of M.S. Swaminathan formula.
  • Withdrawal of all cases against farmers who participated in protests
  • Resignation of the Minister of State for Home Affairs over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

What happens next?

  • Farmers argue that MSP is much less than the C2+50% formula.
  • Centre says there is substantial improvement in the income of farmers as there is a consistent increase in MSP.
  • Struggle for legal guarantee of MSP to ensure fair price for the crop to the farmers will continue.