Indo-US Agreement on Agriculture : A cut-throat maneuver

(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)

The Indo-US agreement on agriculture will cast a demonising spell over the country and is bound to cause large scale plunder of the agro-rural society and definitely tend to capitalize on our living, life pattern, culture and social norms. Already much maligned, misconceived and utterly irrelevant Second Green Revolution is a clever ploy to promote the interest of American and other MNCs.

American MNCs like Wall-Mart, Monsanto etc will be there on the Board of the Indo-US Agricultural Initiative to monitor agricultural research, education and dissemination and exchange of knowledge between India and America. The first meeting of the Board held at Washington was attended by these two companies.

It is really disgusting that now these American multinationals will teach lessons to Indian Scientists on what type of technology India needs. The entire game is aimed at promoting the interest of American MNCs. The Indo-US agreement amounts to an open invitation to the MNCs for the take over and control of our inputs and all other resources. This will enable them to avail unbridled sway over our agro-rural system.

Indian  Agricultural Universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Research Centres will now act as agencies and extension infrastructure to promote the technologies of Monsanto, Cargill etc. Of the various disgusting provisions of agreement, the one that relates to training of Indian agricultural scientist is really silly and shameful. It obliges the Indian Govt to pre provide Rs. 400 crores to meet the tuition charges of Indian Scientists for training in America.

The so-called training programmes have been worked out for the advancement and promotion of genetic engineering and GMOs in India on behalf of the MNCs. This will facilitate take over of production and smooth access into the consumership trade by the MNCs. By Patenting and Branding Seeds, they will openly exploit Indian agriculture.

India will be coerced into production of raw materials for the American MNCs and is turn these multinationals will sell their branded end products through misleading advertisements and catchy slogans, labelling their products efficacious, hygienic and safe from health point of view. As we visualise, the day is not far off that the stuff we shall grow and eat will be decided by these MNCs.

Thrusting the American model of agriculture on Indian agricultural system will cause untold destruction, miseries and disrupt our identity & entity as one of the largest farming country in the world. Farmers and family farms will be doomed for ever. The Indo-US agreement is fraught with the lurking danger that these American MNCs will get access to our Germ Plasm Bank of indigenous crop varieties and get them patented in their name.

Investment and expenses incurred on agricultural research will be borne by us but the Indian agricultural scientist will work at the dictates of MNCs, converting the entire country into a big research lab. of MNCs. This agreement will require India to place the scientific manpower and the vast natural resources at the disposal of American MNCs.

We apprehend, the agreement has been formulated in such a way that it will promote corporate and contract farming and thereby forcing  the farmers to work as labourers in their own farm. The Planning Commission is playing an extremely dubious role which is absolutely not in the national interest.

The entire agricultural research will go into the lap of the MNCs. The Govt. and its advisors are maintaining a very mysterious and veild silence over the Indo-US agreement on agriculture. The agreement will prove to be perilous to Indian agriculture and severely endanger our food security.

The Govt. morally owes an explanation to the nation because political compulsions whatsoever, should never be given precedence over national interest that will imperil the livelihood resources of the people, snatching them of their daily bread. We call upon the Govt. to instantly make public the Indo-US agreement on agriculture because it has put the sovereignty of the country at stake. Let there be a comprehensive debate over this issue in Indian Parliament.



(Editorial : Farmers' Forum Magazine)