Between 1995 and 2015, more than 3,00,000 farmers have committed suicide. Many activists are of the opinion that this is an underestimation. The actual number of farmer suicides in these 20years is far more than 3,00,000. After 2016, the farmer suicides increased so much, that the Government stopped releasing the data on farmer suicides. Look at this. ‘No data available for farmer suicides after 2016′ says our Government! Namaskar Friends! All India Kisan Sangharsh Committee is an organisation with more than 200 farmers’ groups involved in it from all over India. They’ve organised a march in Delhi on 29th and 30th of December, called Kisan Mukti March. It is estimated that more than 1,00,000 farmers would join this march in Delhi to join their voices and demand their rights! Their Slogan would be ‘Dilli Chalo’. Why are the farmers all over India facing so many problems? What are their demands and how can you help them? I’d like to tell you all about it in this video. Come, let’s see. In India most of the farmers have small land holdings and the monsoon rains are very uncertain. Climate change has added to the uncertainty and irregularity of the monsoon. This is the reason why farming in India doesn’t pay well. Like you know, if the monsoon rain is good, the farmers get good yields. But if the rain isn’t good in a year, there’s crop failure. But the irony is that irrespective of the monsoon, farmers have to bear loses either way. The reason for it is the imbalance between Supply and Demand. Even when the production is good, the farmers have to sell their crops at low prices. Because the Government does not want an increase in the price levels. So to bring down the prices it starts to release it’s stocks. The stocks of food grain that it has or starts to import them. For example friends, in 2017 India had highest ever production of Pulses aka Dal. 22.95 million metric tonne of pulses were produced. It was enough to suffice the needs of the whole country. Even then, our Government imported 6.6 million metric tonne of pulses. At zero import duties. It led to an increase in supply and prices crashed all over the country. Our farmers had to bear significant loses. It shows the Administrative failure of the Government. Among the many reasons, it is cited that we lack domestic storage facilities. and that our market infrastructure is inadequate. Few months ago our Government woke up to this issue and levied import duty on pulses. So that the cost of agriculture import goes up and it becomes more expensive. And our farmers could get good prices for their crops. It’s a good step taken by the Government. At last month’s protest the farmers demanded that more restrictions be placed on imports. Specially on those crops whose production has risen in India. The Government agreed to this demand as well. Another important reason behind the farmers’ agitation is the MSP. Minimum Support Price. The price at which the Government promises to buy the crops from the farmers, if they fail to sell the produce in the market. The Government decides the MSP for 26 crops. It changes every year. The problem, friends, is that the growth rate of MSP has fallen very low in the last few years. A rating agency, CRISIL published a research report stating that between 2009 and 2013 the average rate of growth in the MSP was 19.3% Which means every year the MSP increased by an average rate of 19.3% But in the past 3 years, i.e., 2014-2017, the rate dropped to mere 3.6% You can see the rapid fall in the growth rate of the MSP in the last few years, while the prices of petrol and diesel keep on increasing which in turn raises the cost of production for the farmers In 2018, finally our Government woke up. Maybe the reason behind it is the upcoming general election next year and the upcoming state elections In July 2018, there was a ‘record breaking increase’ in the MSP but the problem with this ‘record breaking increase’ is that it still isn’t enough If you convert it into percentage and combine it with the average growth of last 4 years, the average growth of the last 4 years goes up to only 5% which still is a lot less than the average of 19.3% For example, take Paddy’s year over year MSP growth rate. 2018’s growth rate is huge indeed, but compared to 2009-13’s growth rate it still doesn’t amount much This is the reason why Swaminathan says that the MSP increase is still below the recommended limit. And the farmers are still angry. Further the problem is that the Government sets the MSP but cannot implement it Down To Earth’s report stated that in the last 3 years only 10% farmers or less could sell their produce at the MSP. Many farmers are forced to sell their produce at 30-50% below the MSP. Because there are many small farmers to whom the Government’s procurement mechanism doesn’t reach, i.e., the Government’s process of buying the farmer’s crops. Demonetization is another major reason behind the poor condition of the farmers Just last week, the Agriculture Ministry published a new report which states how demonetization crippled farmers and agriculture industry. When demonetization took place, it was the season to sow Rabi crops and sell Kharif crops both of which need cash. Due to the shortage of cash, many farmers couldn’t sow or sell. National Seeds Corporation couldn’t sell 1.38 lakh quintal wheat seeds because of ‘Note Bandi’. The Government is uncomfortable after reading this report. which is why it took an U-turn and said that the report isn’t final and it is withdrawn and a new report would be published. Which would state that the farmers benefited from the note bandi. As always whenever there’s something uncomfortable for the Government, it takes such measures to hide the truth and keep it hidden. What’s the solution to these problems? The farmers that are marching in Delhi have two main demands. First, the parliament calls a 21 day special session, And Second, that two bills be passed in Parliament. 1. Farmer’s Freedom from Indebtedness Bill 2. Guaranteed Remunerative Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Commodities Bill. 3 days of the 21 days’ special session, Swaminathan’s Commission Report’s recommendation be discussed the report was published 12 years ago and it contains many solutions to the farmer’s crisis but in the 12 years never has been discussed in the Parliament 3 days for hearing farmer’s testimonies in the Parliament about the problems they face; 3 days for discussion on the on going water crisis in India; 3 days for discussion on the rights of women farmers; 3 days for discussion on rights of landless laborers; and 3 days for a debate on agriculture. Debate on the future of Agriculture industry in India. Will the companies form a monopoly and dominate in future? Or will the the farmer’s rights be protected? So basically this march is a way to voice the troubles faced by the farmers, so that the public and the Government know about these problems. Today, on 29th November, it is estimated that more than 1,00,000 farmers will come together in the Ramlila Maidan, Delhi. And tomorrow, 30th November, will march towards the Parliament You will remember friends, there was another major farmers’ march in Mumbai in the month of March. It was very successful and special because the urban middle class came to support the farmers. Many doctors, lawyers and various middle class people gave water to the farmers, helped them and even marched with them. So the coordination committee of the ‘Dilli Chalo’ march hopes, that the middle class people would come together to stand with the farmers. For this reason an informal forum has been created for the volunteers. called Nation for Farmers Many groups have formed therein where people are coming together Students for Farmers, Lawyers for Farmers, Doctors for Farmers, Techies for Farmers People from different walks of life are coming together to support the farmers. Friends, I would urge you, if you’re in Delhi, today or tomorrow, physically go to Ramlila Maidan to support and march with our farmer brothers make videos with them and share it on social media, because you know the mainstream (tv) media will not cover this. They are busy with their Hindu-Muslim topics. So we have to help these farmers voice their concerns and bring it to public notice If you cannot go there, then use #kisanmuktimarch on twitter to show your support and there’s a petition in dillichalo.in, link in the description and top comment, sign it to show your support. Because it’s quite simple friends our country cannot develope if our farmers don’t. And if the situation of the farmers persists, then everyone will be affected as well. Because food is a basic necessity. Share this video friends and we shall meet for the next video. Thank you!