Entrenching Capitalist Agriculture in India Under the Guise of Development
Date Written: 13/12/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20191
A criticism of the efforts by the IMF and World Bank to change India's agricultural system and its impact on the Indian economy and populace.
We need look no further than the impact of chemical-intensive farming in Punjab to see some of the impacts. The application of synthetic pesticides have turned the state into a 'cancer epicentre'. In Maharashtra, the growing of cash crops is heavily water intensive and is placing a massive stain on water resources. As a whole, according to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India is losing 5.3 million tonnes of soil every year because of the indiscreet and excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides. Soil is becoming degraded and lacking in minerals, which in turn contributes to malnutrition. Across the world, the corporate-led, chemical-laden Green Revolution has entailed massive social, health and environmental costs. In an open letter written in 2006 to policy makers in India, farmer and campaigner Bhaskar Save summarised some of the impacts of this model of agriculture in India.
As a mirror image of what has happened in other countries (as described by Michel Chossudovsky in 'The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order'), the Indian economy is being opened-up through the concurrent displacement of a pre-existing (very) productive system for the benefit of foreign corporations. Despite the rhetoric, jobs are not being created in any substantial number but hundreds of thousands of livelihoods are being destroyed to enable these companies to gain a financially lucrative foothold.