‘Global Agri Investors' meet will reduce farmers to beggars'
The growing dissent among farmers against the proposed Global Agri Investors' Meet of the State Government has reached a high point with the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and the Hasiru Sene deciding to hold a parallel meet of farmers on sustainable agriculture in Bangalore in protest against the meet.
Announcing this at a press conference in Bangalore on Monday, KRRS secretary Chukki Nanjundaswamy said the parallel meet would be held at a coconut plantation on the outskirts of Bangalore on Nelamangala Road on December 1 and 2 — the dates on which the Global Agri Investors' Meet is to be held. About 2,000 farmers are expected to participate in the parallel meet that is to be inaugurated by freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy. Writer U.R. Ananthamurthy and Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu P. Sainath would also be attending the parallel meet, where discussions will be held on the need to make agriculture a sustainable activity besides preserving native crop varieties.
She termed the proposed Global Agri Investors' Meet as an effort to reduce small and marginal farmers to beggars by snatching their lands. “Though the Government has said that it will not acquire farmers' land, it has also stated that about 30,000 acres of land is required for agri investment. This would mean that farmers face the risk of losing their land,” she said.
She also alleged that the proposed Global Agri Investors' Meet would be detrimental to farm labourers as it would focus on turning the agriculture sector into a highly mechanised activity.
Call for unity
Ms. Nanjundaswamy is the daughter of legendary farmers' leader M. Nanjundaswamy, who formed the organisation, KRRS. She had to face a volley of questions on the disintegration of the KRRS and its impact on the State's farmers. Replying to a query, she admitted that the weakening of farmers' organisations had prevented them from putting up a strong resistance against anti-farmer policies. She appealed to farmers' leaders to put up a united struggle in the interest of farmers.