Kozhikode

Farmers to launch State-wide protests against RCEP

RCEP will flood the market with cheap produce which will further bring down prices, say farmers.

RCEP will flood the market with cheap produce which will further bring down prices, say farmers.  

‘It will be a big blow to farmers’ livelihoods and small industries in the country’

A group of independent farmer organisations under the aegis of the Karshika Purogamana Samiti (KPS) is gearing up to launch Statewide protests from Friday demanding that the Union government withdraw from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

“RCEP will be a big blow to farmers’ livelihoods and small industries in the country. At a time when farmers are faced with poor prices for their produce, RCEP will flood the market with cheap imports, which will further bring down the prices,” P.M. Joy, chairman, KPS, said.

The farmers were already facing threat from imports of produce such as pepper, arecanut and rubber after the implementation of the low-duty structure under the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) trade agreement, SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Area) and ISFTA (Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement), Mr. Joy said adding that the RCEP would further increase the misery of the farming community in the country.

The RCEP would permanently bring down import duties on most agricultural commodities to zero.

“Close to four crore farming families are dependent on milk production in the country. They will suffer huge losses if the milk prices drop further due to imports post-RCEP,” he added.

The organisation would hold a rally and a farmers’ meet at Sulthan Bathery on Friday. Shiv Kumar Kakkaji, general convener, Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh (RKM), would inaugurate the rally at Kottakkunnu near Sulthan Bathery at 2.p.m on the day, Mr. Joy said.

As many as 35 independent farmer organisations, including RKM, Kisan Mitra, Haritha Sena, Farmers Relief Forum and INFARM, would participate in the stir.

The RCEP seeks to establish a free-trade zone encompassing India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and 10 ASEAN countries.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 10:21:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/farmers-to-launch-state-wide-protests-against-rcep/article29846693.ece

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