We Stand with India’s Farmers! Now Let’s Connect the Dots Between the Forces of Neoliberalism that Stifle Farmers, from India to the U.S.

What the Indian farmers are enduring now happened in the U.S. almost four decades ago

We Stand with India’s Farmers! Now Let’s Connect the Dots Between the Forces of Neoliberalism that Stifle Farmers, from India to the U.S.

A solidarity statement in support of the brave and historic protests in India from farmers, and other agroecology, farm and food justice networks in the U.S.\

Source: https://www.farmaid.org/blog/we-stand-with-indias-farmers/

We are not going back - that is not in our genetic code. Agriculture has turned into a slow poison. It’s better to die fighting here - Ringhu Yaspal, a protestor in Ghazipur, India.

U.S. farmers and allied food justice advocates express our solidarity with the farmer protests in India against the unjust farm laws that will increase agribusiness’ stranglehold over their food system.1 India’s farmers have mobilized to create one of the world’s most vibrant protests in history, camping on the outskirts of New Delhi for more than two and a half months. Their rallying cry is to repeal the three unjust laws that were passed without their knowledge or consultation. We extend our solidarity to countless farmers who are peacefully and boldly standing up for their rights and dignity, with other farmers from across the globe.

One of the key demands of the movement is for farmers to receive a Minimum Support Price (MSP) —currently assured for just a few crops — for all produce, including vegetables, which are essential for healthy diets. This would ensure that farmers in India, already burdened by huge debts, receive a fair price for their produce. MSP is the price at which the Indian government also buys staple grains, like wheat and rice, from farmers for its public food programs so that the poor can access subsidized grains.2 While the Indian government only procures a small percentage for its food programs, the MSP is a key price signal to other traders in India, and it ensures that farmers receive a fair price for these specific crops.

We recognize the role of the U.S. government in creating the conditions that have led to these repressive laws. The U.S. has been a key opponent of India’s limited use of MSP at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The U.S., with Australia, Canada and European allies, has claimed that India’s MSP distorts trade.

But, that is not surprising: the U.S. government has been eroding the concept of parity (similar to MSP in India) at home for decades. There is an opportunity for the Biden administration to shift U.S. trade policy to allow other countries to support fair markets for their farmers and shift agricultural policy to ensure that our food providers make a living wage.

The World Economic Forum Agenda Behind Modi Farm Reform. By F. William Engdahl

While the U.S. agricultural sector receives inordinately large support compared to many countries, access to that support remains inequitable. In particular, Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian-Pacific and other people of color producers, who lack secure land tenure and are concentrated in vegetable and small-scale cattle sectors, have been excluded historically.3 Support flows to larger agribusiness farming operations instead of the independent family farmers whose voices we amplify.

Let us be clear: what the Indian farmers are enduring now happened in the U.S. almost four decades ago. The Reagan era furthered the farm crisis through deliberate federal policy changes, with systematic erosion of parity prices and other deregulatory efforts. “Get big or get out” has been our government’s mantra. Farmers with the means to consolidate have been rewarded for growing monoculture commodities. Tribal nations and traditional producers as well as small farmers who have always practiced or shifted to diversified agroecological farming have effectively been subsidizing the U.S. agriculture sector. It is rare for these food producers to make a living without supplemental income. Unsurprisingly, farm suicides in rural America are 45% higher than the rest of the population.

The WTO has indeed worsened an already unequal playing field between the Global South and Global North. What every nation-state can do, at the very least, is protect small farmers from deregulatory efforts, such as the three farm laws in India, that diminish the limited bargaining power that farmers have, pushing them off their farms. In the U.S., it is said that the previous administration’s agenda, “focused primarily around deregulation and increasing aid to commodity farmers while cutting food aid to needy families, [which] will have long-lasting implications.”

The Biden-Harris administration is off to a promising start, yet much work remains to be done on parity and environmental and racial justice in relation to food and agricultural policy domestically, as well as internationally. The U.S. government must stop prioritizing the interests of agribusiness over small farmers, abetting further corporatization of the food system here and in other countries. The U.S. must also endorse multilateral governance norms that will support India's transition to climate-resilient, biodiverse and water-conserving food systems that reach all producers. This would also mean harmonizing trade rules to include parity pricing and public crop procurement.

We have great respect for the unified struggles the farmers and farmworkers of Samyukt Kisan Morcha have built, and we stand with them. We urge both governments to support independent family farmers and localized food systems, ensuring food sovereignty and securing the livelihoods of millions who are the bedrock of its food security and nutritional wellbeing.


1 A comprehensive article explaining what the massive, historic farmers’ protests in India are about can be found here.

2 An overview to how the MSP impacts the various states of India can be found here.

3 Movements for indigenous self-determination with rallying calls for #LandBack, and visionary bills like the Justice for Black Farmers Act of 2020 reflect continuing need to redress these historical injustices in the U.S., similar to the advocacy of Adivasis, women and other farmers in India, who have suffered from generations of displacement.  

Statement Endorsed By:

1. A Growing Culture

2. Abanitu Organics

3. AFGE Local 3354

4. Agri-Cultura Cooperative Network

5. Agricultural Justice Project

6. Agroecology Commons

7. Agroecology Research-Action Collective

8. Alabama State Association of Cooperatives

9. Alianza Nacional de Campesinas

10. Alliance for Progressive South Asians (Twin Cities)

11. American Sustainable Business Council

12. Americana World Community Center

13. Ancestor Energy

14. Association for Farmers Rights Defense, AFRD Georgia

15. Black Farmers & Ranchers New Mexico/National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association

16. Buttermilk Falls CSA

17. Center for Regional Agriculture Food and Transformation

18. CoFED

19. Community Agroecology Network

20. Community Alliance for Global Justice

21. Community Alliance with Family Farmers

22. Community Farm Alliance

23. Community Food and Justice Coalition

24. Compassionate Action for Animals

25. Disparity to Parity

26. Earth Ethics Action

27. East Michigan Environmental Action Council/Cass Commons

28. Echo Valley Hope

29. Ecologistas en Acción

30. Ecosocialist Working Group, International Committee, Democratic Socialists of America

31. Fair World Project

32. Family Farm Action Alliance

33. Family Farm Defenders

34. Farm Aid

35. Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance

36. Farmers On The Move

37. Farmworker Association of Florida

38. Ground Operations

39. Health of Mother Earth Foundation

40. i4Farmers

41. Imagining Transnational Solidarities Research Circle

42. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

43. Institute for Earthbound Studies

44. Just Transition Alliance

45. Land Core

46. National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association

47. National Family Farmers Coalition

48. Natures Wisdom

49. NC Climate Justice Collective

50. NeverEndingFood

51. North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers Land Loss Prevention Project

52. Northeast Organic Farming Association — Vermont

53. Northeast Organic Farming Association, Mass. Chapter

54. Northeast Organic Farming Association-Interstate Council

55. OPEIU 39

56. Peoples Architecture Commonwealth

57. Pesticide Action Network North America

58. Philadelphia Community farm

59. Real Food Media

60. Regenerative Organic Alliance

61. Regenerative Rising

62. Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA

63. Rural Advancement Fund of the National Sharecropper Fund

64. Rural Coalition

65. Rural Development Leadership Network

66. Rural Vermont

67. Safe Food and Feed Foundation

68. Santa Cruz Permaculture

69. Science for the People

70. Science for the People — Twin Cities

71. Seeds for All

72. Shaping Change Collaborative

73. Sierra Club-USA

74. Southeastern African-American Farmers' Organic Network

75. Steward Foundation

76. Texas Drought Project

77. The Carbon Underground

78. United People Community Organization, Market, and Farms

79. University of MN Food Recovery Network

80. Uprooted & Rising

81. US Food Sovereignty Alliance

82. Utopia Cornucopia

83. Vision for Change Foundation

84. Vitis and Ovis Farm

85. Washington Biotechnology Action Council

86. Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

87. Women’s Environmental Institute


The World Economic Forum Agenda Behind Modi Farm Reform. By F. William Engdahl

WE STAND WITH INDIAN FARMERS - Full Page Advertisement in New York Times of February 16 in support of farmers movement

COLIN TODHUNTER: Farmers’ Protest in India: Price of Failure Will Be immense // Global Corporations' plans for India's agriculture

Nivedita Menon: Toolkits of democracy and a paranoid Hindu Rashtra

Express Editorial: Weaponising an advocacy document to arrest an activist signals paranoia, not democratic power.

BJP planning to form governments in Nepal, Sri Lanka? Biplab Deb discloses Amit Shah's global expansion plan

Chakshu Roy: Over the years, poets, students, and even a village have been booked under the sedition law

Bharat Bhushan: No one critical of the government seems to be innocent any longer / Delhi Police arrests 22-year-old environmental activist, calls her key to foreign hand

SIMRAN JEET SINGH: The Farmers' Protests Are a Turning Point for India's Democracy

Rihanna and Greta prompt an MEA outburst — and a hashtag firestorm


Reflections of an American living in India...

Popular resistance to undeclared Emergency// Ghazipur Border: Rakesh Tikait के लिए यूपी -हरियाणा से रातों रात  गए किसान

Samyukta Kisan Morcha distances itself from violent elements / Farmer leaders accuse Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu of instigating protesters and leading them to the Red Fort

Manu Kaushik: Before India Breaks Its Promises / Dushyant Dave: SC Should Have Declared New Farm Laws Unconstitutional / Republic Day Tractor Rally: Tear Gas At Singhu Border

India's protesting farmers pay homage to the 143 farmers martyred in their movement and reject Centre's offer to stay farm laws / 42-year old Haryana farmer dies by suicide at Tikri border

Satarupa Chakraborty: CJI's Remarks on Women Farmers Are an Assault on Human Agency and Constitutional Rights / Pratap Bhanu Mehta: SC’s order on the farm bills is terrible constitutional precedent, bereft of judgment

Agenda for Social Democracy

Discussion on Indian Agriculture and the ongoing Kisan agitation

Navsharan Singh: A million reasons to march

Jairus Banaji on the Indian corporate strategy of subordinating farm households and family labor

STATE OF RURAL AND AGRARIAN INDIA REPORT 2020. By the Network of Rural and Agrarian Studies


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