Towards a Grey Revolution

The message from the Government of India is becoming clear: farmers get out of agriculture and make way for the contractors.

The green revolution is part of India's history. The grey revolution is the future. At least that is what the blueprint for agricultural reforms, authored by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, seems hell-bent on unleashing through Green Revolution II.

The agricultural reforms that are being introduced in the name of increasing food production and minimising the price risks that farmers continue to be faced with, will in fact culminate in the destruction of the productive capacity of existing farmlands and will most definitely lead to the further marginalisation of farming communities. Encouraging contract farming, future trading in agricultural commodities, land leasing, forming land-sharing companies, allotment of homestead-cum-garden plots, direct procurement of farm commodities and setting up of special purchase centres, as envisaged by the blueprint will drive a majority of the 600 million farmers out of subsistence agriculture.

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Himal Southasian