The next Indian Farmers’ march is scheduled for mid-2020. This will be the first farmers’ march in decades to be held outside of India. It is expected to bring together Indian rural communities and rural development organizations for a week of action beginning on the day of Republic Day in mid-November. The main issues that face rural India are water and food shortages, better agricultural returns, and the lack of affordable rural housing.
The new Farm Act passed by the Indian government in 2020 has been an impediment to the progress of rural development in India. The new Farm Act bans direct negotiations with foreign companies over their technology transfers and subsidies. In effect, Indian farmers have been forced to use pesticides and other chemicals that are imported in massive quantities and at very high costs.
As reported by news sources in India, Indian farmers are now facing extreme difficulties in cultivating cotton due to the prohibitive legislation that has hobbled their ability to use pesticides. The legislation also limits the number of acres that can be utilized for cultivation. The situation has become even more volatile since in July, there was an outbreak of severe drought in the state of Maharashtra which led to massive farmer’s losses.
The next Indian Farmers’ March is planned for June, where farmers from all over India will gather to protest the Farm Act. As per the organizers, this is an open platform where farmers from all states of India will participate. They are expected to express their fears and frustrations over the farm acquisition policies, the increasing price of agricultural produce, and the government’s failure to protect them from exploitation.
The Indian Farmers’ March is also expected to highlight the harmful impact of the unjust Farm Law amendments passed by the previous Congress government. The new Farm Laws limit the rights of the farmer to access to land for agricultural purposes. This law also forbids the release of seedling plants for non-commercialization. Farmers are now left with no other option except selling at a low price or simply destroying them. In short, farmers are unable to cultivate and save their traditional assets under the present circumstances.
With millions of acres of agricultural lands earmarked for development, farmers are finding it difficult to pay the heavy price that is required to cultivate these lands. To add to their woes, the unending harvest cycle has made it extremely difficult to earn a consistent income from their crop production. According to estimates, Indian Farmers’ Protest is likely to strike on a number of important dates throughout the year, such as Independence day, Gandhi Jayanti, Republic Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day. These protests are in the lead of a major environmental change; farmers are fighting for better environmental laws in the country.