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Thursday, December 2, 2021

What triggered the protests from farms in India?

After a year of prolonged protests by farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yielded to their demands and announced that his government would repeal the agriculture laws that his government had passed to overhaul the country’s agricultural sector.

There is no doubt that India’s previous system, which encouraged farmers to grow huge surpluses of grain, needs to be remedied. Protesters feared that the haste with which the laws were passed and the scale of their changes would lead to a drop in crop prices. Mr Modi’s government argued that introducing market forces would help fix the system.

Many of the protesters were members of the Sikh religious minority and came from the states of Punjab and Haryana. Farmers in other parts of the country held solidarity rallies.

Their protests exposed the dire reality of inequality across much of the country.

More than 60 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people continue to depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihoods, although this sector accounts for only about 15 percent of the country’s economic production. That confidence has been boosted after the coronavirus pandemic hit the city’s economy hard and sent millions of workers back to their villages. For years, debt and bankruptcy have driven farmers to high suicide rates.

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Protesters challenged Prime Minister Modi’s efforts to transform agriculture in India.

They called on Mr Modi to repeal laws passed in September 2020 that minimize the government’s role in agriculture and open up more opportunities for private investors. The government said the new laws would free farmers and private investment, leading to growth. But farmers feared that the elimination of government protection, which they already considered insufficient, would leave them at the mercy of greedy corporations.

Government support for farmers, which included guaranteed minimum prices for some staple crops, helped India overcome the hunger crisis of the 1960s. But after India has liberalized its economy in recent decades, Mr Modi, who wants the country’s economy to nearly double by 2024, has realized that such a large role for the state in the agricultural sector is no longer sustainable.

However, the farmers claimed that they fought even with the existing protection. They feared that market-friendly laws would eventually strip regulators of support and deprive them, and that a weakened economy would prevent them from gaining other livelihoods.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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