Farmer’s Protest & Actual Understanding of New Agriculture Laws
More than half the farmers supporting or opposing the three recent farm laws have no information about them. According to a survey, “The Indian Farmer’s Perception of the New Agri Laws”, conducted by “Gaon Connection” found that out of the 52 per cent who opposed them 36 per cent did not know the details of the legislations. Similarly, of the 35 per cent supporting the agri laws, almost 18 per cent were not informed about them, the survey found.
This face-to-face survey was conducted between October 3 and October 9 across 53 districts in 16 states of the country, according to a statement issued by Gaon Connection. The survey included 5,022 farmers as respondents. As per the findings of the survey, released as ‘The Rural Report 2: The Indian Farmer’s Perception of the New Agri Laws’, the biggest fear of these new agri laws among the respondent farmers (57 per cent) is that they will now be forced to sell their crop produce at a lower price in the open market, while 33 per cent farmers fear the Government will end the system of minimum support price (MSP).
Further, 59 per cent respondent farmers want the MSP system to be made a mandatory law in India. A bigger proportion of marginal and small farmers, who own less than five acres of land, support these agri laws in comparison to medium and large farmers. “Interestingly in spite of slightly more than half (52%) the respondent farmers opposing the three new agri laws (of which 36% were not informed about these laws), almost 44% respondent farmers said the Modi government was ‘pro-farmer’, whereas about 28% said it was ‘anti-farmer’.
Further, to another survey question, a majority of farmers (35 per cent) said the Modi government supported the farmers, whereas about 20 per cent said it supported the private corporates/companies,” the statement said.
The survey found that overall 67 per cent farmer respondents were aware of the recent three agricultural laws.
Meanwhile, two-third of farmers were aware about the recent farmers’ protest in the country.
Awareness about such protests was more among the farmers in north-west region (91 per cent), which includes the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Least awareness was reported in the east region (West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh) where less than half (46 per cent) were aware about recent farmers’ protest. Overall, 52 per cent farmers reportedly oppose the three new agri laws, whereas 35 per cent support these Acts. Of those who support these laws, almost half (47 per cent) favour them because they believe it will give them freedom to sell their crop anywhere in the country.
Among those who oppose these laws, the highest percentage of respondent farmers (57 per cent) said they did not support the three laws because “farmers will be forced to sell their produce at lower price in open market”.
The new farm laws promise, among other things, freedom to farmers to sell their produce in the open market.