Despite all claims of economic reforms since 1991, agriculture the largest private sector in India has remained shackled.
The agriculture distress covers all aspects of farming, from land to seeds, from various inputs to outputs, are controlled by a maze of laws and regulations. Likewise, farmers’ access to credit, infrastructure, markets and technologies are all limited, restricted or even prohibited.
Farmers can neither quit agriculture, nor can they find alternative means of livelihood, given the poor quality of education and health services, and lack of economic opportunities in the non-farm sectors. Farmers have nowhere else to go, most are not just distressed, they are gasping for survival and desperately looking for any opportunity to turn the tide and prosper.
Indian agriculture has become synonymous with poverty, not because the farmers are incapable, but because they are being prevented from unlocking the wealth of their assets and unleashing their spirit of independence and enterprise.
Farmers’ voice is lost in the pandemonium surrounding their welfare. The farmers’ manifesto for freedom is a consolidation of their needs and demands to operate freely and profitably. View the manifesto here.
The manifesto has been endorsed by farmers, academicians, intellectuals and civil society leaders across the country. You can view the list of endorsers here.
The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.