Vidarbha Cotton Farmers and Widows Protest to FDI in Multi-Brand Retail
September 20, 2012 (India)
**“The Development Model by giving total control of Agriculture and Rural Economy in the hand few MNCs is very serious issue ,We want national debate over prevailing distress and despair coupled mounting debt and failure social and economical system in rural west vidarbha before going ahead hence our protest to FDI in retail”**
Vidarbha Cotton growers and farm widows in eastern Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region have joined national wide on going agitation the Indian Government’s decision of allowing 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector. the farmers and farm widows protest was organized by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), at villages Hiwara and Moha under leadership vidarbha farm widows association convener Bebitai bais and Farm activist Suresh Bolenwar, Mohan Jadhav ,Kavitha Kudmethe ,Tulsiram Mandhare and others alleging thousands farmers suicide cases have happened in the cotton growing region of Vidarbha due to the state’s pro-MNC policies, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a farmers advocacy group, said.
VJAS leader Kishore Tiwari said the latest reforms proposed by the Indian Government such as allowing 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail sector, along with the hike in diesel prices and subsidy cuts, would pave way for MNCs to obtain control over the entire agrarian economy of the country.
“The Development Model by giving total control of Agriculture and Total Rural Economy in the hand few MNCs is very serious issue we want national debate over prevailing distress and despair coupled mounting debt and failure social and economical system hence our protest to FDI in retail” Tiwari said.
He said Vidarbha is a perfect example that shows how allowing foreign investments in agriculture inputs allows MNCs to build monopolies, giving rise to unfair trade practices like cartelization.
Over 9,000 farmers have committed suicide since 2005 when American MNC Monsanto was allowed to take over the region’s cotton economy. Following continuous and strong opposition, the Maharashtra government ultimately agreed to ban Bt cotton in the region, but the decision came after several farmers lost their lives, Mr. Tiwari said.
The Government’s latest decision makes way for entry of MNCs like Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour in the Indian business space, which would further intensify the agrarian crisis, which on an average has caused one farmer to commit suicide every eight hours, he
Mr. Tiwari said the proposed reforms would prove to be the last stroke on the farmers, which would annihilate them in such a manner that they would never be able to recover.