Dear Farmer brothers and sisters,
I am in constant contact with you for the last few days regarding historical agricultural reforms. In the recent past, I have had conversations with National Farmer Organizations of many states. These farming reforms have been welcomed by many farmer organizations. They are happy with these reforms, farmers have found a new ray of hope in these reforms. Examples of such farmers from different regions of the country are also being received, who have also started taking advantage of these new agriculture laws.
However, there is also the other aspect of these agricultural reforms that confusion has been created about these laws among some of the farmers’ organizations.
Being the Agriculture Minister of the country, It is my duty to clear up the confusion of each and every farmer, and to make every farmer free from worries. It is my responsibility to bring the reality and actual position before you about the conspiracy creating a wall of lies between the government and the farmer in Delhi and the surrounding areas.
I myself belong to a farmer family. I grew up looking at and understanding the specifics of farming and the challenges of farming, waking up late at night to water to the field, running to close the weir when it was broken by running water, fear of untimely rain – all these have been the part of my life too. I have also waited for weeks after harvest to sell the crops
Even under these conditions and circumstances, the farmer of the country is endeavoring to produce more and more grains for the country. We have seen the endeavors of the farmers of India during this crisis of Corona. Our farmers helped to accelerate the country’s economy by bumper production. During this time, record sowing ensured better yields in the future.
It is a matter of great satisfaction for me as an Agriculture Minister that after the new law came into force, all previous records of government procurement on MSP have also been broken. At a time when our government is creating new records of procurement on MSP and increasing the number of procurement centres, some people are lying to the farmer that the MSP will be done away with.
I urge the farmers to recognize this lie being spread by some people motivated by political interests and reject it outright. The government which gave MSP one and a half times of the cost to the farmers, the government which in the last 6 years, has almost doubled the amount of MSP in the account of farmers, such a government will never stop MSP. MSP continues and will continue.
|The MSP system is ending.
APMC mandis are being closed.
|The MSP system in operation and will be operational.
APMC mandis will be continued. This law will not be applicable on APMC mandis.
|Farmers’ land is in danger.||Agreement will be only for crop, not for land. There will be no agreement for any transfer of land including sale, lease and mortgage.|
|Contractors can acquire land of the farmer against any due.||Whatever be the situation, the land of the farmers is safe.|
|There is no price guarantee for farmers in the case of contract farming.||The procurement price of agricultural produce will be mentioned in the farming agreement.|
|Farmers will not be paid.||Farmers have to be paid within the stipulated time frame, otherwise legal action will be taken and penalty will be imposed.|
|Farmers cannot withdraw from the contracts.||Farmers can withdraw from the contract at any time without any penalty.|
|Contract farming has never been tried before.||Many states have approved contract farming. Many states even have contract farming laws.|
|There is no consultation or discussion regarding these laws.||There have been discussions for two decades. It started in the year 2000 with the Shankarlal Guru Committee. Thereafter, the Model APMC Act in 2003, APMC Rules in 2007, Committee of Chief Ministers of Haryana, Punjab, Bihar and West Bengal in 2010 and approved by Agriculture Ministers of 10 states in 2013, Model APLM Act in 2013 and finally approved by Parliament in 2020.|
For the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, farmer welfare is one of the most important commitment of his life. To increase the income of the farmers and to bring prosperity in their lives, this government is constantly taking decisions under the leadership of Prime Minister.
In order to empower the farmer, our government has taken every decision from seed to market for the last 6 years, which will make farming easier for farmers, reduce difficulties and increase their profits.
You also know that 80 per cent of the small farmers in our country have holding of only one or two acres. Such farmers have been engaged in farming since independence for their survival. These small farmers are being benefitted to a large extent by the steps taken by the government.
The motive behind giving you 6 thousand rupees annually through PM Kisan Samman Nidhi is that you do not need to take loan in difficult times. Crop insurance cover compensates you for the crop damaged by natural calamities. The Soil Health Card provides information about the health of the farmer’s land. On the other hand, Neem Coated Urea has given great relief to the farmers by stopping the black marketing of fertilizer. May the Annadata be also Urjadata, the country is moving forward to achieve this goal.
Another problem of the farmers has also been that most of the warehouses, cold storages and processing centers are located near the big towns rather than villages. Due to this, farmers can not avail full benefit of these facilities. To overcome this imbalance, now an Agricultural Infrastructure Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore has been created.
In the midst of these efforts, we have also seen how some people used to buy the hard toiled produce of the farmer at a throwaway price due to lack of market availability. The farmer of India did not even have the right to fix the price of the produce of his field, to sell it wherever he wanted.
Everyone knew and understood this compulsion of the farmer. The earlier governments also used to advocate for providing open market along with the mandi to the farmers. The process of dialogue about this started in the year 2001 during the period of Atal government. After Atal ji, there was a Congress government at the Center for 10 years and it was also in support of these reforms, mentioning these reforms in its manifesto.
The fact is that no one never supported the old system that binds the farmers. Today, I want to tell you by this letter that not even any farmer leader or organization has given a single statement for the last 20-25 years, that farmers would not get other alternative to sell their produce and the system that is going on is better. In our country, many big farmers have been in protest for freeing themselves against the restrictions of prevailing system. Agricultural experts have been saying that without these reforms it is difficult to change the life of the farmers of India.
When the NDA government was formed in the year 2014, we started discussion on these reforms afresh. Model laws were sent to state governments. Discussions were held in the committees of Chief Ministers. Within six months, we took this matter to crores of farmers of our country. Through about 1.5 lakh trainings and webinar sessions, various matters related to farmers and the provisions of the new agricultural law were discussed and then these new agricultural laws have come into existence.
Dear farmer brothers and sisters,
The mandis are in operation and will be operational. APMC is being strengthened further. Along with this, the open market will also give you the option of selling your produce at good prices at your door. Besides, the transporting cost of produce from the farm to the mandi will also be saved.
The ownership of farmer will remain on the land. The government which is also providing ownership of the house to every family living in villages through ownership sceme, will never permit anyone to take even an inch of land of the farmers.
Our government is committed to the farmers both by intention and policy.
Dear sisters and brothers,
The confusion which is being spread on MSP, mandi and taking possession of the land, the government is constantly trying to make it clear.
We are constantly discussing with farmers and their organizations and are ready at all times to address their concerns.
But it is equally necessary to understand the vicious cycle created by some political parties and organizations under the guise of farmers.
The country’s misfortune is that today some people who call themselves neutral, consider themselves intellectuals, are shamelessly speaking the exact opposite of what they said. But nothing is hidden from the public. Their old statements and real face are also exposed to the country.
These people are thinking that they will harm the government for their political selfishness. But the truth is that they are targeting you, the country’s farmer and the youth of the country also. These people have tried to make innocent farmers puppets of their politics.
This is the Congress government who put down Swaminathan Committee reports by 8 years, how can it be friendly to the farmers?
The Congress, which says in its manifesto that in addition to the market, farmers should be provided with different options for selling produce, why they want the farmers to be restricted. UPA’s agriculture minister wrote letters in favor of these reforms, why he is now taking a U-turn?
While the Aam Aadmi Party was writing in its manifesto at the time of Punjab elections that it would allow the farmers to sell produce outside the mandi, why it is now opposing?
The Hooda Committee had talked about farming reforms, the committee also had big leaders of the Akali Dal, so why they are speaking in a different tone today?
The farmer organizations who were supporting these reforms two or three months ago, and were greeting our government, why they are opposing it now?
My farmer brothers and sisters,
For decades, there has been a politics of vote-making in our country by just announcing reforms. The country is now watching the government, which fulfills them authentically by making an announcement.
Seeing increased blessing of the people of the country on us, some parties also felt that they lost political ground, so they spread confusion among farmers.
It is our responsibility to clear this confusion. Therefore, we are constantly trying to resolve each and every issue with the agitating farmers.
But, you also have to be cautious that such people have also joined this movement, whose goal is not peasant interest at all. Today, once again they are directly and indirectly encouraging violence and anarchy for their political selfishness by hiding behind the country’s Annadaata.
By hiding behind Annadata of the country, they are forcing to set free the accused of riots and accused involved in spreading violence immediately.
By hiding behind Annadata of the country, they damage the statue of Gandhi, insult Bapu, same Bapu who started a huge movement of Satyagraha for the farmers in Champaran.
Irrigation water should not reach to farmers, for this, these Organizations left no stone unturned and resorted to every legal maneuver over the years. These people have been putting obstacles in the work of providing electricity to the farmers and construction of dams for years. These people are pretending to be the farmer friendly today.
When the country is moving forward with its determination of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Vocal for local is going on , then we will have to recognize these people’s intentions, who have announced to boycott the Indian products.
When the challenges of security on the border in Leh-Laddak are on peak, when snow falls have occurred, people, who are trying to stop the trains carrying supplies for troops on the border , cannot be farmers in any way.
Because of these people, logistics and other important things have to be sent through air and other means for our soldier. Hard-earned money of our people is being spent for these alternative arrangements.
Even in the battle of 1962, the ideology of these people was not with the country and they were hiding behind the curtains and misleading farmers.
Today, these people are again speaking the same language of 1962.
These people have also attempted to destroy and pollute the discretion of farmers with their vile intentions and plans.
Our farmer brothers and sisters must think this that when they had started the movement, what was their intention at that time and what is happening today?
I humbly request to you through this letter, without being misled please consider it on the basis of the facts.
It is the responsibility of our government to clear your doubts and to answer your queries. We have never withdrawn from this obligation and will never step back.
Following the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vishwas’ in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, our government has been endeavoring for protecting interest of everyone without discrimination. The history of the last 6 years is a witness to this.
Have faith on us, these reforms have been made in the interest of farmers and will lay the foundation of a new era in Indian agriculture, strengthen and provide freedom to the farmers of the country.
With the strength of these agricultural reforms, we will enrich Indian agriculture.
Narendra Singh Tomar