From India News Network (INN)
New Delhi, July 9: All India Kisan Sabha by joining hands with All India Agriculture Workers Union and the P Sundarayya Trust is organizing a Workshop on the Agrarian Crisis and Alternative Policies on 11th and 12th July 2019, at Sundarayya Vighyana Kendram, Hyderabad. It is being organized in the context of ominous Global recession and systemic crisis of world capitalism and its impact on Indian economy especially on agriculture and rural development.
The agrarian crisis in India has forced more than three lakh farmers to commit suicide during the last two decades. The Neo liberal era represents the major trend of a systematic withdrawal of the State from public investment on agriculture and the deregulation of Public Sector Units which have pivotal role on self-reliance in all spheres of economy. Now under the second dispensation of the BJP led NDA Government, advocates of neo-liberalism are trying to hijack the concept of peasant cooperatives to their advantage by trying to make them adjuncts of neo-liberal economic model by promoting producer companies among farmers. The budget 2019-20 placed on 5th July 2019 by Nirmala Sitharaman, has announced the formation 10000 farmers producer organizations in support of market forces in order to aid agribusiness to avoid middlemen and have direct access to raw agricultural produce at cheap rates. The Government of India is promoting this in the background of neo liberal policies especially by allowing 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail trade and agriculture, Contract farming and Multiple Free Trade Agreements involving the forceful acquisition and takeover of agricultural and forest land by the corporate houses even by the forceful eviction of Adivasis.
This agrarian crisis has manifested rapid increase in landlessness, acute indebtedness, massive farm suicides and alarming distress migration which indicate the historical process and pauperization and proletariatisation of the peasantry under capitalism.
The AIKS in its 33rd conference on 2013 had adopted a commission paper ‘on peasant cooperatives and reorganizing production relations in agriculture’. The paper deals with the significance of mobilizing the peasantry and the rural working class in collectives and cooperatives with active involvement of modern working class against the exploitation, politicize them and make them part of larger united movement to resist and challenge the corporate forces and the capitalist land lord class that facilitate the exploitative social order.
This workshop deals with the practical aspects of implementation of the perspective of AIKS as explained in the commission paper in the contemporary circumstances, the major issues and priorities before the worker peasant social cooperatives like redistributive land reform land pooling in collectives, minimum support price and minimum wage in order to reverse the crisis in agriculture, modernization of agriculture by establishing collective ownership on crop wise agro processing, retail marketing and develop home market to ensure employment and income. The movement for accomplishing unfinished tasks of agrarian revolution is inevitable to liberate Indian economy from the clutches of corporate forces.
AIKS and AIAWU have been intensifying struggles demanding the Union Government to reverse the neo liberal policy of curtailing government support to agriculture and promoting agri-business by corporate houses and instead promote peasantry to establish worker-peasant cooperatives by extending investment and infrastructure support. Developing struggles to launch cooperative movement will provide ample space to mobilize and politicize the vast peasantry.
The purpose is to advance the peasant movement and develop the cooperative spirit among the peasant masses and rural working class through political struggles for building alternatives against corporatization of agriculture.
The workshop will be inaugurated by Dr. T M Thomas Issac, Finance Minister of Kerala. AIKS President Ashok Dhawale will preside over. The two days conference will be attended by eminent economists, social scientists, representatives of successful cooperative institutions across the country as well as activists of peasant and agriculture worker movement. The panelists will includeSR Pillai, Hannan Mollah, A A Vijayaraghavan,Jitendra Choudhury, N K Shukla, Vijoo Krishnan, P Krishna Prasad, Amra Ram, Suneet Chopra, Venkatesh Athreya, R Ramkumar, Vikas Rawal, Dr KN Ganesh, Surajit Mazumdar, Dinesh Abrol, Malla Reddy, D Raghunandan, Dr. Sethumadhavan, T B Suresh, Amiya Patra, Dr. TN Seema, Shasheendran, Joginder Walia, Pabitra Kar, Benny Kuruvila, C Rajan, Mariam Dhawale, V P Sanu, Preety Shekhar, ,Rana Mitra, Thomas Franco, , Thirunavakarasu.
Around 200 delegates from all over the country will participate in the workshop. The schedule of the workshop is attached.
Press conference attended by Hannan Mollah, NK Shukla, Suneet Chopra, P Krishnaprasad
Workshop on Peasant Worker Cooperatives
11th and 12th July 2019 at Hyderabad
‘Agrarian Crisis and Systemic Crisis of World Capitalism
-Role of Worker Peasant Social Cooperatives in Building Alternatives’
11 July 2019- Day 1 Inaugural Session
11.00am- 1.30am-Inauguration-Dr Thomas Issac, Finance Minister, Kerala
Chair - Ashok Dhawale, President, AIKS
- HannanMollah, General Secretary, AIKS
3pm - 5.00 pm - Role of Agricultural Coperatives in Protecting the Interests of Peasantry
Chair and key note address–VenkateshAthreya
AIKS perspective P. Krishnaprasad, Discussants- R Ramkumar (TISS), VikasRawal (JNU)
Simultaneous three sessions
Session -1- Role of Cooperatives in Agro Production, Processing and Value Addition-Challenges and Possibilities
Chair – N K Shukla (AIKS)
Discussants- Dinesh Abrol (AIPSN), MallaReddy (AIKS), D Raghunandan(Centre for Technology and Development Dehradun),Dr. Sethumadhavan (ULCSS), T B Suresh(BrahmgiriDS)
Session 2- The Possibilities of Cooperatives in Procurement, Stockholding and Marketing
Chair- JitendraChoudhury(Ex MP, AIKS)
Discussants- AmiyaPatra (AIAWU), Dr. TNSeema (Kudumbashree), Sasidharan V. K (Indian Coffee House), JoginderWalia (Society for Technology and Development Mandi-HP).
Session 3- Role of Workers and Peasants in Democratization of Cooperatives
Chair –Amra Ram (AIKS)
Discussants- DrKN Ganesh (EMS Academy), PabitraKar (AIKS), BennyKuruvilla (Focus on the Global South), C Rajan (Dinesh Beedi), Mariam Dhawale (AIDWA), V P Sanu (SFI), PreetyShekhar (DYFI)
12 July 2019 Day-2
Alternative Policies on Capital Mobilization,Appropriation and Sharing of Surplus
Chair - Vijoo Krishnan (AIKS)
Discussants- RanaMitra (NABARD),SurajitMazumdar (JNU), Thomas Franco (former general secretary AIBOC), Suneet Chopra (AIAWU).
Role of Worker- Peasant Alliance in Building Alternatives to Realise Minimum Wage and Minimum Support Price
Chair – SRPillai
Discussants- HannanMollah (AIKS) Thirunavakarasu (AIAWU), VikasRawal (JNU).