Indian Agrarian Crisis now moved to www.agrariancrisis.in

Farmer-the most endangered species

Special Economic Zones

Posted by Ramoo on January 11, 2007

Along with the issues of forcible and involuntary deprivation
of land to farmers, we have to consider the most critical
aspect of food sufficiency and food security.
Per capita land ratio to humans is already low for our
population exploding at alarming rate. As such the per
capita land availabvility is lower than 0.2 ha minimum
recommended for survival of humans if the country was totally vegetaian. Per capita land need increases substantially due
to more than 85% of population now being non-vegetarian.
Another onslaught on the land quantum for food has come
from the government supporting increase of biodiesel and
ethanol to support motorisation. India has turned to be the
world’s fastest growing car ownership market. Statistics are
not available however from the way the fuel producers are
taking over land by offering attractive incentives, our estimate
is that over minimum 30% of land will be converted to non-
food cultivation. Large scale contract farming has already
come up in the country.
India is in delicate positon. Increase in output is at
stand still with wheat crop taking an alarming dip so
much so that we are forced to import substantial
quantities of wheat at about costs 60-70% higher to
the GoI Minimum support Price (MSP) for cereals and
especially for wheat. A govt that refused to increase the
MSP for wheat from 600 per quintal to 650 to our farmers
has been forced to buy in international market under which
the landed cost of Rs 1000 to 1050 even though usual
import duty of 50% is totally withdrawn.
About 30% of country’s cooking oil needs is now
imported. The govt has issued open general licence to
importing of GM soy oil though soy oil not a staple
medium in any region of the country.
India’s purchases in the international market have spurted
the international prices by 20%, which in effect would
mean that imports will be at a sustantrially higher prices
endangering the survival of the poor the most.

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