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farmers protest against farm billsModi and Edappadi gang openly campaign in public by highlighting two primary reasons to justify new agriculture bills.

They state as,

  • “Farmers can bargain directly with merchant”, while new agriculture bills eliminate intermediaries (middlemen).
  • Intermediaries and merchant, who are affected by new agriculture law, are stimulating farmers to fight.

Media always butter up the ruling class. Moderators (neural), who come to hear and study this content, will articulate unknowingly as ‘Modi is working only for a good cause’.

Is it true?

Who are middlemen (intermediaries)?

What is their role (participation) in agriculture-based trade?

To understand these questions, one has to consider (and analysis) the factual reality of the practice. Though they are generally represented as intermediaries (middlemen), they are in two different types (type models) in reality. The first type model of intermediaries acts as a bridge of relationship between farmer (who is manufacturer/producer of agro-products) and dealer who is purchasing agro-products. And they are who supports both farmer and purchasing dealer to complete their transaction.

A merchant will not engage in business without the presence of intermediaries while he decides to procure (which relates to purchasing agro-products) to a new place. As a local, intermediaries would be well known about social background, financial status, and family issues, as well as the strength and weakness of the individual.

These details are necessary to the merchant for the reliability of the transaction. The intermediaries are indispensable for a merchant to approach a farmer because of being local.

Apart from this business of purchase, nothing will happen without an intermediary like the sale of land, leasing of land, lending and borrowing money for interest (land debt) on the land property.

(it is no need to confuse by comparing intermediaries with political brokers like Gurumoorthi and Thamizharuvi Maniyan, as well as purchasing brokers of Rafael weapon (cannon)).

The intermediaries get a commission amount of either one percent or two percent based on money value from both sides (farmers and merchants) while the purchase or trade of agro-products is over. Sometimes it has to be accepted that the act of cheating and fraud happen in this.     

Commission Mandi: (the local shop where vegetables and fruits are sold directly or indirectly by farmers)

Through the second type model of intermediaries, the farmers sell vegetables, fruits, flowers, and tubers via commission mandi in town or village.

This mandi takes the commission amount of ten percent from the farmer side.

Apart from this, mandi takes an extra two rupees of money in the name of writing charge and token charge from farmers.

And also, a fraudulent act of cheating in the weight of selling products and partition in price fixation will happen commonly. There is a notable difference between the foresaid intermediaries and administrators of mandi.

The first type of model intermediaries would not invest money on their own. They possess their closeness to people and honesty as individual as their investment. But Mandi will not be the same as first type intermediaries. They would not stop only getting ten percent commission amount from farmers. They bridle farmers to sell their agro-products only to Mandi by giving agriculture inputs like seeds, compost, and pesticides. Intermediaries determine the price, which is advantageous to the merchant by bargaining secretly with him, and they get a commission from him.

The intermediaries loot from farmers by fixing price below to the market price. And they loot from a merchant by selling at extra cost. Or else, the representatives of Mandi themselves have graded (according to the quality of vegetables) vegetables, and then he sells them for tremendous profit to city markets where the vegetables sell at a high cost. The farmers know very well apparently about commission Mandi who earns extra profit in multiple ways by exploiting the farmers. Even though farmers had known about them, there are two reasons on the farmers’ side for being unable to leave that zone. One is the reason for the prevailing lack of capital on the farmers’ side. And other is the reason for having no way to sell their agro-products as a whole. So the farmers have been carrying on, even they knew very well that they had been cheated and exploited. Small scale farmers compensate for lack of capital in two ways. One is to borrow money for interest from anywhere or else to get money as advance from Mandi. This is to be noticed that there is no interest in the advance borrowed from Mandi. There is no way in reality for farmers except these aforesaid ways. Seventy-five percentages of small scale farmers utilize both ways.

A representative of Mandi said, “Land is the only possession of the farmers. Agro-products from their land is ours. Because we give advance money for wages to coolie workers who work in the land and the expenses of medical and education for farmers’ children”. This statement is an inevitable fact that cannot be ignorable.

Agriculture in the control of merchant:

There are some large scale merchants who confirm by giving a great amount to the farmer via agreeing to purchase the whole yield before harvesting in cash crop cultivation like cabbage, cauliflower, potato, onion, and chilly mainly in the seasonal time. (There is no interest here too)

Each speculator (speculative trade merchants) of foresaid type control agriculture around fifty to a hundred acres. They have a close relation to the large scale merchants belonging to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. If the price of one product increases in the market. They would buy the product from, where it sells for low cost, and they would fill up for selling in the local mandi. They would diminish the price of eggplant (brinjal) to 20 rupees which are auctioned for 50 rupees on the previous day. In this way, they create the circumstances of purchasing agro-products at very low cost from farmers for whose they gave advance. Intermediaries, commission mandi members, small scale merchants, and usury (money lender by getting extra interest) have been intertwined as inseparable in agriculture and in farmers’ economic part. This is a practice that has been following from the ancient period.

This collaboration is retaining the participation of small scale farmers in agriculture even in this situation while the government has abandoned some offers like subsidies and bank loans that are given to small scale farmers. The bargaining power of farmers has been lost due to their lacking economic status, which is realistically pre-existing and their poverty. This is the basis for losing the benefits from their lifetime labor to the commission mandi and to the merchants. This is not only the status of small scale farmers but also most of middle and large scale farmers’ status, which lasts just as small scale farmers nowadays. Let us consider the agriculture of tender coconut. Wholesale (large scale) coconut merchants have been taking on lease the garden belonging to the small scale farmers having few tender coconut trees. The merchants are following new purchasing method nowadays.

Large-scale coconut merchants would make registration in the name of debenture bond by giving a fixed amount to farmers according to the number of their trees. Farmers are forced to take over all expenses of land maintenance. A farmer has to pay two percentages of interest for debt borrowing from merchants, and he has to redeem one rupee from the current price of coconut. The expenses to extract coconut from tender coconut and the expenses for transportation have to be paid by farmers. The merchant would credit the rest of the amount from the principal amount except the foresaid expenses. The money which is borrowed by a farmer for unexpected expenses would be included in the principal amount, then the interest amount which has to be paid by farmers would be increased tremendously. There are so many stories like some rich (large scale) farmers who lost their land to merchants finally.

The central and state governments have not been taking any serious initiations to rescue the farmers from commission mandi and wholesale (large scale) merchants. In contrast, the state has been doing the work of making irreversible crisis for farmers by snatching concessions (privileges) that were already provided by the government to the farmers. These are who expresses their motive as conserving farmers before media, just like a gracious commandment.

Would autorickshaw run by turning side mirror?

(This clause is used for mentioning illogicality in the Tamil language. This comes from one of the famous comedy cinema dialogues)

Modi and followers who butter up him always are articulating that new agriculture bills would annihilate intermediaries so the farmers would have the chance of bargaining squarely with merchants. The ruling class has been trying to make a false image as farmers would get extra profit by only doing some works on the surface (this is an idiom), without taking any initiations to release small scale and middle scale farmers from their poor economic status. This is a failed concept. For instance, Kalaingar Karunanithi had introduced the “farmers’ market” (which is called as Ulavar Sandhai) by pronouncing the same reason. At the moment, some small scale merchants only are occupying fully in the farmers’ market in the name of farmers’ identity. The goods of whole merchants (where farmers’ market is incepted for selling only farmers agro-product) are sold in the farmers’ market. It is tangible evidence for the statement that the lifestyle of farmers has not yet developed to the extent for the farmers to change as merchants.

Who would complement the capital deficit of small and middle-scale farmers, as per Modi’s saying? There is no solution for that in the new agriculture bill. It can be kept in mind that central and state government already abandoned pre-existing concessions, subsidies and bank loans those are given to farmers.

 How could small scale farmers continue farming in this context? There is only one option for farmers to give up farming and to exit from their land and from agriculture. Where would they go if they abandoned agriculture? They would join migrant workers who already accumulated to search for a job in urban areas. What is the other way in this country except this?

The central agriculture minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that farmers could sell to merchants by bargaining. The man who has no basic knowledge and reality of agriculture only could be talked like this. The government has been implementing plans like farmers’ market, agricultural cooperative society, regulated market, and government-based procurement & agricultural market. Only because merchants decide price by collaboration they have cheated farmers, so the farmers have not been received a fair price. Modi pushes the farmers to roll back to the 1960 period by articulating that if farmers sell directly to the merchants, they will get more extra profit. Here the central agriculture minister has not mentioned small scale merchants for contacting farmers. He mentions corporate dealers (merchants) like Reliance, Adani, Amazon and Walmart.

There is no way to bargain with them. They would participate in procurement (purchasing) only after deciding the quality and price of the product. The products which had been filtered by them could be sold in the local market as a pre-existing pattern of selling products by segmenting to sell them at least cost Or the products would have been thrown into the garbage.

Their way of presenting new change is just leaving farmers to be affected by the local merchants to the corporate merchants.

Our agriculture under the control of corporate

New agricultural bills have been brought for an absolutely different purpose in a different circumstance from pre-existing laws which have implemented in the country. Green revolution project has been brought in order to prevent severe drought, poverty, and death by starvation those have prevailed before 1960 in this country. In its continuation, the control of the government over the field of agriculture has been sustained wholly. State enhanced wheat and paddy production through government investment with agricultural subsidies on seeds, pesticides, medicines, and plowing tools. The state itself determines the price of agro-products. The state has purchased the agro-products and preserved them in its storage warehouse. The state has been selling them at subsidy price to people in ration shops those have initiated around the country. Various laws and government agencies have been created to conserve the public, who are consumers and farmers, from the robbery of local merchants. The ceiling on agricultural holding act, the prohibition of essential articles act, direct government procurement (purchasing), minimum supporting price, Food Corporation of India, procurement (purchase) stations, warehouse storing, cooperative banks of the central government, state government, and district have been accomplished on the basis of people welfare.

World Trade Organization has been established as a locus of power (power centre) of international corporate capitalists, the Indian state has joined with it. The central government started to give up gradually even the nominal (so-called) motive named people welfare government (welfare state) which has been followed till in the country. In contrast, the central government took a new dimension as the state for the welfare of corporate capitalists, which has been pointed out by the World Trade Organization. Pre-existing people welfare laws, principles, government agencies, and control orders have been annihilated wholly those are against the welfare of corporate capitalists, they have been altered as per the welfare of corporate.

New agricultural bills have been introduced by Modi for the purpose of altering the field of agriculture for the welfare of corporate. The deception of Modi- Edappadi has been existed to hide this political truth. Synthesis of small scale farmers, small scale merchants, commission Mandi, and local intermediaries are a great obstacle for corporate to enter into the agriculture field of India. Small landholdings and small scale production practices are the obstacles for corporate capitalists who want agriculture of farms, single crop zone, bulk procurement in one place, agriculture in modern technology those are in the nominal style of American European countries. So corporate wants to annihilate this structure which has been insisted by the World Trade Organization.

The motive is only to drive away from the small scale farmers from their land

The desire of corporate has been hidden to evict small scale farmers from agriculture who are as 84% in the agriculture, this is what behind the argument of central government that they are going to eliminate intermediaries, then only the farmers could bargain with the merchants. This is a social issue to be discussed now. Modi- Edappadi gang could be exposed by questioning only through this issue. This 84 % of farmers have been cultivating vegetables, oilseeds, and food grains that are essential for people. Any attempt to evict the farmers from agriculture would affect the self-reliance (independence) of the country in food production. It could be problematic to continue ration subsidy. (Remember the recommendations of the Chandha Kumar committee that the number of people who get ration subsidies should be halved.)

The Modi government has no alternative employment program to sustain 84 farmers who had been expelled from their land. The promise of Modi, which is to make 2 million employment opportunities, has dissolved into his regular lies. Thousands of small businesses had been ruined and crippled by the demonetization and G.S.T policy. Millions of people who have already left villages (countryside) have wandered as migrant labours and nomads. If the corona contagion issue had not arisen, this social melancholy would have been hidden. The social melancholy would tremendously enlarge many times by new agricultural bills. The corporate capitalists welcome this sort of social melancholy ridiculously. This is because it ensures that they would get more employees for minimum wages and that guarantees surplus profit on capital they invest. The happiness of corporate is the growth of the country; it is the tenet of Modi (and San Parivars). So that he speaks strictly that there is no space for the talk of withdrawing the new agricultural bills.

The new agricultural bills have not considered the realities and practices of Indian farming (agriculture). In contrast, that had considered the profit of corporate capitalists, which insists on the European American style of production on Indian farming. This repercussion would cripple the majority of small scale farmers, which would push them into the abyss of poverty. Food production and food preservation & conservation would go out of corporate control. The price of food items would have risen many times over. The Modi gang is implementing this tremendous social devastation cunningly through new agricultural bills. Today’s struggle of farmers in Delhi is the exact epitome of voice (battle-cry) against this social devastation caused by the Modi government.

Author: Theni Maran

Translated by: Kurinjithen M

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