Second Green Revolution: Recipe For Farmers' Genocide
By Parshuram Rai
21 February, 2006
Inaugurating the 93rd session of the Indian Science Congress in Hyderabad recently the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called upon the scientific community to work towards bringing about a second green revolution that would have a special focus on dryland agriculture and address the needs of small and marginal farmers. In his blueprint for the second green revolution, the Prime Minister has relied on the five key recommendations of the National Commission on Farmers . These five elements are "enhancing soil health, employment of water harvesting, enlarging credit at lower rates, improving infrastructure for marketing, and widening the dissemination of new technology."
The idea of Second Green Revolution seems to me an old poison in an old bottle with a new label on it. It will kill farmers and destroy family farms at very large scale with "high efficiency". This is a blueprint for loot, plunder and pillage of not only farmers but entire rural India.
First and foremost, Second Green Revolution is aimed at preparing ground for large scale industrial farming and final takeover of Indian agriculture by TNCs like Monsanto, Syngenta and Cargill. To do so , it is important to first create a debilitating farm crisis by decimating the dryland farms owned by small and marginal farmers and declare the entire agriculture sector as " sick & unviable" so that these farms could be auctioned to agri-business companies and big agri- multinationals for large scale industrial farming.
The First Green Revolution and WTO driven commercial farming were limited to only few areas and they have succeeded in destroying family farming and forcing large number of farmers in these areas to either commit suicide or move out of farming by imposing a farming model which is ecologically unsustainable and economically unprofitable to farmers. Before the entire agriculture sector is declared sick, unviable and unprofitable , it is necessary to cripple and destroy the remaining 60% of cultivable land in dryland areas too ; so that it would be easier to open the sector and hand-over the family farms to big agri-multinationals using the scandalous economic fundas like, efficient farming, economy of scale and economic growth.
Second Green Revolution(GR2) dynamics will convert entire country into " Andhra and Vidarbha" and large number of farmers will have no option but to commit suicide . The chariot of GR2 will be drawn by twin-devils called technology and market .Technology and market are really very effective tools to render traditionally viable and sustainable rural livelihood systems "sick and unviable". The proponents of GR2 must explain as to whether lack of technology and market is part of the problem or solution ? Farming crises and farmers' suicides are invariably linked to the presence of and not absence of markets and technology. Have you ever heard of any case of a farmer's suicide in the so-called backward areas like Bihar, Orissa, eastern UP, Bundelkhand or North-east where market and technology are almost absent ? The States like Andhra, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Punjab with most severe farming crises and large-scale farmers' suicides are not facing this disaster because of absence of market and technology. On the contrary, the presence and over-doze of technology and market are driving them off their farms and forcing them to commit suicide.
If over-doze of technology and market is killing the farmers in so-called developed regions, it is baffling to understand as to how these twin- devils are likely to herald prosperity in dryland areas by ushering in Second Green Revolution.
GR 2 is essentially aimed at finishing the unfinished task of first Green Revolution,i.e to destroy the sustainable and self-reliant family farms of entire India and prepare the ground for large-scale industrial farming by TNCs and agri-business multinationals.To realize this objective, it is necessary to cripple and destroy the family farms so that large number of farmers become sick of farming and either get out of this or commit suicide. Will it still be a case of suicide? GR2 is a prescription for mass genocide of farmers scripted by the unholy alliance of SARKAR & BAZAAR (govt & market).
Which scientists and technologists was PM calling upon? Was it scientists working in ICAR institutions or Indian agricultural Universities? No way. Their role and relevance in WTO-driven farming regime is as big as zero. He was calling upon the scientists & technologists working in the laboratories of TNCs like Monsanto, Syngenta and Cargill. The PM was obviously not calling upon space scientists or nuclear physicists. He was calling on agricultural scientists. Science & technology in agriculture means "certified company seeds, pesticides and chemical fertizers" produced by agri-multinationals and sold to farmers at unaffordable and scandalous prices. Monsanto is already charging Rs 1250 as royalty fee for a 450 grams packet of Bt.cotton seed. It is a day-light robbery and governments and legal institutions of the "largest democracy of the world" find utterly helpless in bringing these perpetrators of "invisible genocide"
to justice. They are unable to do anything against these "purveyors of mass murder" except breast-beating like a young hapless widow.
To put this magic mantra of GR2 in simple terms, Second Green Revolution will be a farming revolution of agri-multinationals, by agri-multinationals and for agri-multinationals. It is also a well planned strategy to call on scientists to solve a problem that is essentially a creation of policy planners.This is a brilliant strategy to muddy the water and confuse the farmers. If you can not rescue the farming and farmers out of the grip of WTO, free- market and agri-multinationals, then the best thing to do is to wave the magic wand of GR2. By mudding the water, Indian politicians and policy planners have perfected the impossible art of befooling all the people at all the times. The call for second green revolution is nothing but an attempt to befool all the Indian farmers throughout their life.
The writer is director of New Delhi-based Centre for Environment & Food Security . He can be reached at : firstname.lastname@example.org.