[Marxism] India: On the so-called second Green Revolution

Politicus E. epoliticus at gmail.com
Wed Jul 21 12:59:58 MDT 2010


f.y.i.

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A Pamphlet by Forum Against Monopolistic Aggression, Kolkata
(Translated by Debarshi Das, Sanhati)

Visit www.sanhati.com to read the original Bengali version.

Two central ministers Pranab Mukherjee and Sharad Pawar, fortified in
the posh AC rooms, spread the glory of the ’second green revolution’
to the representatives of six states in a two day workshop. Nodding
on, sitting by their side, were chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
and agriculture minister Naren Dey. Not a single word was uttered that
this ‘revolution’ is in fact a meticulous corporate plan for ‘green
loot’. The basis for this was the anti-national Agricultural Knowledge
Initiative (AKI) signed in 2005 between India and the US. The ambit of
AKI stretches from agricultural production, distribution to domestic
culinary education, training, research, service industry. In short the
AKI would gobble up the entire economy.

We, who walked side by side in the Singur-Nandigram episode, opposed
setting up of the chemical hub, raised our voice against SEZs, against
the construction of nuclear power plant in Haripur, should let people
know that the fallout of this ominous programme is not a single Singur
or a Nandigram or a Nayachar or a Haripur. Thousands of Singurs,
Nandigrams, Haripur, Bhopal or Vidharbha could be the eventual result.
Nothing is beyond the purview of AKI: agriculture, education,
research, health, environment, economy, culture: all are included.
Singur is a minnow in front of the Second Green Revolution.

Know the Truth!

Something is being carefully suppressed. It is not being revealed that
the AKI treaty signed between India and the US is the basis for the
‘Second Green Revolution’. The full form of the AKI is Knowledge
Initiative on Agriculture, Education, Training, Services and
Commercial Linkages. The prime minister signed this treaty in the US
in 2005 and had declared that the AKI treaty is the harbinger of the
second green revolution. The principal architects of this are the
American commercial agricultural firms. They seek to grab fertile
lands of India, grow crops of their liking under contract farming and
export them abroad. The treaty has nothing to do with the food
security question of Indians. All talk of food security is merely an
eyewash.

Corporates, not Farmers, are at the Root of this Revolution(?)

It is indeed a matter of shame that the global trade policy of the
three profit-hungry American companies, namely Monsanto, Archer
Daniels Midlands (ADM) and Walmart, has become the agricultural policy
of the independent country of India. These three companies are the
main actors behind the ’second green revolution’ of India – all the
them are board members of the AKI. Monsanto is the biggest seed and
farm chemical company of the world. ADM is the biggest seller of food
grains. And Walmart is the biggest monopolist fish which can gobble up
the global retail market, its annual revenue is higher than the
aggregate GDP of all southern African countries put together. The
treaty is the result of a sinister pact with the multinational farm
implements, food processing, wholesale and retails business interests.
Domestic partners such as Tata, Mittal, Ambani, Goenkas have also come
along. They are the apparent Indian owners of the companies.

What is Happening and What is Going to Happen as a Result of the Treaty

Following the AKI treaty big capital is entering the domestic
agricultural and retail market. APMC laws of the states are being
amended – so that the big business can directly enter contract farming
business. They are dictating the pattern of farming according to their
wishes – in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, everywhere. Foreign
companies are entering the science research centres of the country, to
get the required clearance certificates by influencing the scientists
working there. This has been proved in the case the BT brinjal. In
line with the treaty, a new Seed Act is going to be passed which would
help seed and chemical companies like Monsanto establish their
monopoly in the seed market. Right to preserve and exchange seeds is
being snatched away from peasants. Steps are being taken which would
ensure that they cannot use any seeds other than those of the
companies. Futures trading acts are being changed, to send food price
sky rocketing in sympathy with the global market price. Various
reports of the UN have already warned of further rise in global food
price in coming decade. Agricultural produce is like gold now –
speculators are fueling its price by putting their money in the food
market. Not a fraction of this market boom would accrue to the
peasants. These would be cornered by the giant middlemen. According to
the new plans, land under paddy and wheat cultivation would be
curtailed. Vegetables and fruits would take their place, which would
be exported abroad after adequate processing.

Our national agricultural policy has been framed in line with the AKI.
But one can find no mention of the farmers’ problems there. The whole
thing is designed keeping in mind the corporate interests. Plans are
being laid which would push up cost of cultivation so much that the
ordinary farmers get pushed out of farming. This is in fact the new
strategy of eviction.

On the one hand food crisis is gripping the world, on the other
international food and agricultural products business is hell bent on
retaining their hold over fertile lands all over the world. Already
lands of many a village have been taken in Punjab. Animal feed is
being produced there, whereas the local people and environment are
left to withstand the lethal impact of pollution. The result has been
ominous. Thousands of indebted peasants have committed suicide all
over the country. According to the data of National Crime Bureau from
1997 to 2007 1,82,936 farmers have committed suicide. That’s one
suicide in every thirty minutes.

Position of the Political Parties

In conformity with the India-US deal, interest of the common man and
peasants are given a short shrift, agricultural and commercial laws of
the land are being turned upside down in order to reverse the logic of
land reform, corporate interests are changing each and every law –
while all these alarming developments are unfolding, the political
parties both of the left and the right are keeping mum over the AKI.
When the 123 nuclear deal was signed the left parties had declared
that the sovereignty of the country is at stake. The AKI is thousand
times more dangerous than the 123 deal, yet these parties are silent.
This criminal conspiracy against the food providers of the country is
going to jeopardise food security. At the same time we see cold
storages are being constructed at public expense, on public land and
being handed over to monopolist traders to store food so that their
higher profit is guaranteed. Rail freight corridor is being
constructed on the loan given by the World Bank to cart away the
agricultural wealth of the land. This PPP is a curious circle. Water,
land, labour, financial expense: all ours, profit is yours.

The First Green Revolution

The government, and even a main proponent of the first green
revolution, Swaminathan, has admitted that the first green revolution
has failed. But who all are paying for the failure? Punjab was the
birthplace of the first green revolution. It used to be called the
bread basket of India. Today Punjab is India’s cancer belt. A train by
the name of Cancer Express, number 339, runs from Bathinda to Bikaner.
In some families all ten members have the disease. There is poison in
water, in soil, in the air. Regions which have been visited by
Monsanto or Cargill have been turned into death traps. In other words,
failure does not only mean failure of crop, it’s price is far
reaching. In West Bengal for instance out of 341 blocks 81 are arsenic
and 49 are fluoride poisoned. Earlier 5000 kinds of paddy used to be
grown in Bengal. 4500 of them have been lost in the impact of a single
revolution. The scientists were made to assure us that the green
revolution would bring unprecedented prosperity to the house of the
ordinary peasant. It has only set his house on fire. Small peasants
have been forced to sell his meagre land to the big farmer. Bee
population has dwindled, bio-diversity has declined, all this means
more hardship for the poor people. The crisis would only excerabate
with the second revolution. Perhaps the entire Eastern India would
join the cancer belt. Perhaps this is the reason why there was the
artful confession of the failure and immediately afterwards Mr.
Swaminathan got busy with the ’second revolution’.

Opposition by Scientists, Teachers, Doctors

On the eve of the aforementioned workshop, on 9th July, 2010, river
scientist Kalyan Rudra, scientists Partha Sarathi Roy, Arun Kanti
Biswas, Abhee Dutta Majumdar, doctor Siddhartha Gupta and others met
the agriculture minister of the state Naren Dey on behalf of the FAMA
to express their opposition to the ’second green revolution’ to demand
scrapping of the AKI. They were of the opinion that through these
measures the days of indigo contract farming and Bengal famine are
being brought back. The whole of East India may turn into a desert.

The Second Green Revolution and Plans to Starve the Small Business

‘The second green revolution’ is nothing but an attempt to starve the
peasants and small businessmen. Farming, transportation, distribution,
retail and wholesale trade, the market system: all these stand to be
appropriated. Those who are supporting the sinister plan of gobbling
up these are essentially pushing the next generation towards famine in
exchange of petty personal benefits. Come, let us raise our voice
against the anti-national second green revolution. This is an onus
upon all patriotic Indians, no one else will do it for us.




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