New Delhi: More than hundred farmer organisations, representing lakhs of farmers, today released a charter of demands to be included in the manifestos of political parties in the upcoming Loks Sabha elections.
Income security for all farm households, ensuring minimum living incomes, ecologically sustainable farming systems, community control over agricultural resources and ensuring non-toxic, diverse, nutritious and adequate food for all, are the main demands that these organisations put forth.
“What is the point of increasing the food grain production if the farmers are not getting benefited by it,” Kavita Kuruganti, convener for Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture said.
“The present paradigm produce of high-external-input-based intensive agriculture which is premised on ‘produce more and prosper’ had shown itself to be ‘produce more and perish’,” she said.
These charter of demands have been endorsed by 106 farmer unions including Bhartiya Kisan Union.
The members also demanded that the income of the farmers should be equal to that of an agricultural scientist.
“The farmers here are coming up with so many innovative ideas. We want the farmers to get their due share and also get salary equal to that of an agricultural scientist,” said Kuruganti.
“We have put forward this charter of demands in front of the political parties. We are already holding talks with some of the regional parties like the BJD and JDU,” she said.
The members also stressed on the formation of a farm income commission to ensure minimum living incomes for the farmers.
“There should be a farm income commission to oversee and ensure minimum living incomes accrue to all farm households, through assessment and focused recommendation,” Rohtas Rathee, national secretary of Bharat Kisan Union said.
Further, they raised their voice against land acquisation for the establishment of industries.
“We are not against industries, but we don’t want farmers to give away their fertile land, as it is possible to establish an industry elsewhere but impossible to make a barren land fertile,” said Rathee.