Social-Ecological Transformation |
Rural Producers Collectives
Ever since the integration of India's peasants into global agri-food markets, their livelihoods have become at risk. In this globalized food system where large corporations rule, small-scale farming is not economically viable because global economic rules are against it. For example, the World Bank's Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) brand of trade liberalization had forced India to open its agricultural markets to foreign agribusiness. Unlike Indian farmers, agribusiness companies receive massive subsidies in Industrial countries like the US. They can produce massive quantities at cheap prices. Trade rules have forced India to allow such agribusiness to sell their cheap produce in India by asking India to lower import duties/tariffs. This dumping of cheap agricultural commodities into Indian markets has pulled down local market prices of agricultural products, and made it difficult for local Indian farmers to compete with rock-bottom prices. While market prices are falling, the cost of inputs is rising. Many agricultural inputs like seeds or fertilizers have become privatized and sold at high prices, which makes it difficult for small farmers to earn profits. These and many other unfair policies have made it difcult for small farmers to survive in globalized markets.