All India Kisan Sabha national meet in Thrissur seeks legal guarantee of MSP 

AIKS is planning a second round of agitations from January 26 to press their demands

December 14, 2022 08:30 pm | Updated December 15, 2022 12:31 pm IST - Thrissur

Hannan Mullah, general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha addressing the media persons in Thrissur on Wednesday

Hannan Mullah, general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha addressing the media persons in Thrissur on Wednesday | Photo Credit: NAJEEB KK

The four-day national conference of the All India Kisan Sabha being held in Thrissur has demanded enactment of a law to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for farmers’ produces. It also sought to implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission to ensure MSP, which is 50% more than the complete cost of production.

Also read |An MSP scheme to transform Indian agriculture

Minimum support

“MSP for farm products was a key demand of the (last year’s) farmers’ protest in Delhi. Farmers suspended the stir when the Central government agreed to repeal the three farm laws and to take steps to enact a law for providing MSP. But even after one year, the (Narendra) Modi government has done nothing to guarantee MSP,” said Hannan Mullah, general secretary of the AIKS.

In a resolution passed in the conference on Wednesday, the AIKS noted that uncertainty about prices was not only leading to loss for the farmers but also making it difficult for them to make appropriate decisions about choice of crops and farm investments.

“Data show that about 91% of paddy farmers and 83% of wheat farmers are selling their produces at prices less than the MSP. A vast majority of farmers are forced to sell products at less than the cost of production. This is because procurement facilities are not available. Neo-liberal reforms over the last three decades have resulted in the weakening of public support to agriculture,” said the resolution presented by Amra Ram, a farmer leader from Rajasthan.

Also read |What is minimum support price for crops?

System of public support

The resolution also urged the government to strengthen the system of public support to agriculture, agri-inputs and services in order to bring down the cost of cultivation. It demanded the government to create facilities for procurement, storage and distribution of crops. The resolution also asked the government to support farmers’ cooperatives to undertake procurement, warehousing, primary processing, value addition and distribution at MSP.

Second round of agitations

The AIKS is planning a second round of agitations from January 26 to press their demands.

Mr. Mullah said “anti-democratic, pro-corporate and communal policies of the Modi government” have been pushing poor and marginalised people into abject poverty.

“On the one hand, the Modi government is claiming to promote women’s empowerment through projects such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, on the other, women, who constitute major part of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, have been denied wages for months,” said Mr. Mullah.

He alleged that calculated efforts were being made to divide farmers along communal and caste lines to destroy their unity.

In all, 765 delegates from across the country are participating in the national conference which concludes on Friday.

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