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Prof. Assem Prakash on Forbes, "Fights over Indian Farms Laws Ignore Green Revolution’s Climate And Economic Problems"

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on February 17, 2021 - 11:15am

Prof. Aseem Prakash and colleague Prof. Nives Dolšak write on Forbes that the political polarization is shaping the shouting match over India’s new farm laws in India.

For supporters, these laws give farmers the freedom to decide where and to whom they sell their crops. These supporters portray farm protests as a western-inspired conspiracy. For them, Twitter shows double standards on hate speech. And they point out that rich farmers lead the protest: among Indian states, Punjab is at the top in terms of household farm income, almost thrice the national average.

There are no solutions to the most crucial challenge: ensuring that the Green Revolution belt farmers grow less rice which is economically and ecologically problematic. With its reliance on fossil fuels and groundwater overuse, the current rice farming model contributes to the climate crisis and the desertification of Punjab and Haryana. India needs a dramatic increase in non-farm employment so that farmers are not compelled to defend the existing system. Everyone needs to acknowledge that dismantling the existing fossil-fuel-based agricultural economy and creating a new one will be challenging. A transparent and inclusive dialogue for a “just transition” for the Green Revolution farmer is required.

Please link here for the full article.