KOZHIKODE: It is a budget with ‘zero support’ to the farm sector though it contains big words like ‘zero budget farming’ which need no budget allocation as it is up to farmers to produce the manure and pesticides through bio-farming methods from the farm, leaders of farmer community pointed out.
The formation of 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) is nothing new as there are thousands of farmers’ SHGs struggling to survive as the state and Central failed to support them, they said.
All India Kissan Sabha leader P. Krishnaprasad told DC that there is no Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farm products and no farm loan waiver that were demanded by farmers’ organisations. By linking FPOs with the market, the Centre is forcing farmers to bow to the market led by corporate forces, he said. Mr Krishnaprasad also said that without any significant financial support, the peasantry and working class will be hit dearly. The MSP for farm products was recommended by the National Commission on Farmers headed by noted scientist M.S. Swaminathan in 2006. It had also insisted that the MSP should be at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production.
Jose Sebastian, a farm activist who is heading a farmers’ collective, told DC that there is nothing new in the announcement of FPOs. There are lakhs of farmers’ SHGs now struggling across the nation which would be converted into FPOs with many promises. This is at a time when most farmers’ groups are defunct as the government failed to provide them either the financial support or the support to empower them to tap the market, he pointed out....