10 Feb, New Delhi: Indian farmers joined people with HIV and small traders to protest against the EU-India Free Trade agreement, which will impact all three sectors by ending livelihoods and cutting access to cheap medicines. EU is calling for a speedy resolution of this agreement, while the Indian government has not undertaken any democratic consultations or impact assessments and the text is still kept secret from the people.
Small and medium farmers are against free trade in agriculture which encourage dumping of cheaply produced food products and put local food producers out of business while cutting the ability of nations to feed themselves by increasing reliance on imports. They instead support food sovereignty which is the ability of nations to feed their people through local production by small farmers, local resources, local agro-ecological methods and traditional knowledge of farmers. They oppose the corporate take over of the food system that cares more about profit than people or nature. This FTA is precisely a corporate take over of the food system, where agribusiness in both EU and India will benefit while pushing small farmers and milk producers out of business in both the regions.
Below is the letter from the farmers to the Prime Minister:-