As the ongoing farmers’ protest continued for the 19th day on Monday, a new group of 10 farmers’ unions from seven states on Monday extended their support to the Central government over its decision to undertake the necessary amendments in the three contentious farm laws.
Under the banner of the All-India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC), the group of farmers belonging to states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Maharashtra, the unions were convinced that the recent farm acts are for the benefit of farmers across India and will save farmers from the clutches of middlemen who exploited them over the years.
They were of the opinion that the laws would ensure freedom of choice to farmers in sale and purchase of agri-produce and allow barrier-free trade and commerce outside premises of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees.
The unions expressed their support after a meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar at his office here.
The farmers, in a written memorandum, said that they agreed with the government’s proposal to suitably amend the three farm laws which is the centre of deadlock leading to ongoing protest at Delhi’s different borders since November 26.
As thousands of farmers under the leadership of over 32 farm unions are sitting on demonstration for the last 19 days, the AIKCC group appealed to the farmers to support the government’s proposal regarding amendments in the three laws — The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The protesting farmers term these laws “black laws”, “draconian” and “anti-farmer”.
Stressing on amendments in the three laws, the AIKCC said “modern infrastructure is necessary in the current farming scenario because the present method is not enough for implementation of new laws”.
“The farmers have been following old techniques. So, it is necessary to do amendments in these laws.”
The union further added that giving farmers the right to enter into agreements with the buyer would enable prior price determination and transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor.
These farm reforms, the union felt, would also enable farmers to access modern technology, better seeds and other inputs, besides attracting private investment into the agriculture sector.
More than seven thousand NGOs work under the umbrella of the AIKCC and their members will all rise up to support the recently enacted farm laws. This assurance was given to the Agriculture Minister by the AIKCC representatives. They expressed their gratitude to the Central government for enacting these farm laws and urged not to give in to the demands of the agitators to roll them back.
They also appealed that the government should continue to educate the people about the benefit of these laws through advertisements and through training programmes.
After the meeting, the Agriculture Minister tweeted that the leaders of the group agreed that these laws are beneficial for the farmers and these should not be withdrawn.
Tomar also said that the farmers accepted that the ongoing protest is politically motivated.
The Minister clarified that the intention and policy of the government are clear and farmers are already benefiting from the pro-farmer reforms which will help in increasing the income of farmers.
“The government is always ready to engage in dialogue,” Tomar said.
The new group of farmers agreed with the government’s proposal days after more than a dozen farmers from Haryana FPO (Farmer Producer Organisation) and the Jagruk and Pragatiseel Kisan Union submitted a signed acceptance of the new laws to Tomar during a meeting with him at the Ministry earlier.