India: WTO Negotiations – Protecting Livelihoods and Ensuring Food Security

Resolution from the Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security & UNCTAD India

11th June 2008

 


We, the representatives of farming community, fisher folks, agricultural workers, adivasis, dalits and rural women, civil society organizations, academia, resolve that the latest drafts on Agriculture and Non Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) are the final nails on the coffin of the country’s food security and sovereignty.  Both the drafts are an orchestrated attempt to open up the Indian markets for highly subsidized cheaper imports. Importing food is importing unemployment that will destroy livelihoods and the country’s food self-sufficiency.

We, representing the majority India are highly concerned about the dilution of Government’s position in the WTO negotiations which will play havoc with the lives of us millions. What is being offered to us at WTO by way of special products (SP) and Special Safeguard Measures (SSM) is only a smokescreen and offers no real protection to Indian agriculture, fisheries and forestry.  We do not see any efforts by rich countries to remove their agriculture subsidies that depress global prices and insulate their transnational corporations against any market volatility.

In this context and given the above concerns, we demand that the Government should reject the two drafts, as they fail to take India’s minimum concerns on-board. Since this has implications on millions of lives and livelihoods of our people, the government should restore import duties to the bound levels and bring back quantitative restrictions. Given the global food crisis, and the extent of agrarian distress in the country, the SP’s and SSM’s are inadequate to protect livelihoods and food security.

This entire process of negotiations ending up in such one sided deals is a wasted and futile exercise. It is high time the Indian government stands up for its people otherwise the socio, economic and political consequences will be disastrous. Hence, Agriculture should be left out of WTO.

Signed:

 

1.          Mr. Mahendra Singh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Baghpat, UP

2.          Mr. Rakesh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Baghpat, UP

3.          Mr. Gurnam Singh, Pradhan, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Haryana

4.          Mr. Yudhvir Singh, Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movement, New Delhi

5.          Mr. K Chellamuthu, President, Tamizhaga Uzhavar Uzhaipalar Sangam, Tamil Nadu

6.          Mr. P. Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Viritidarulu Union, APVVU, AP

7.          Mr. KS Puttannaiah, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka

8.          Mr. Malla Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangham, Andhra Pradesh

9.          Mr. Suneet Chopra, Joint Secretary, All India Agricultural Workers Union

10.     Dr. Sunilam, Madhya Pradesh Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, MP

11.     Mr. Bhagirath Chaudhary, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Rajasthan

12.     Mr. Basavaraj Ingin, Karnataka Pradesh Red Gram Growers Association, Karnataka

13.     Mr. Vijay Nandkishore Jawandhia, Shetkari Sanghathana, Maharashtra

14.     Mr. N. D. Koli, National Fishworkers’ Forum

15.     Mr. Ambrish Rai, Lok Sangh Morcha, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

16.     Fr. Mathew Vadakemury, Indian Farmers’ Movement (INFARM), Kerala

17.     Mr. Kanniyan, Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam (Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association)

18.     Mr. Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Punjab

19.     Ms. Pratibha Shinde, Adivasi leader, Gujarat

20.     Ms. Sheelu Francis, Tamil Nadu Women’s Collective

21.     Mr. Ram Kumar, Dynamic Action Group, Lucknow

22.     Mr. Umendra Dutt, Kheti Virasat Mission, Jaitu, District – Faridkot, Punjab 151202

23.     Ms. Alka Awasthi, CECOEDECON, Rajasthan

24.     Dr. Surjeet Singh, Institute for Development Studies, Rajasthan

25.     Mr. Utkarsh Sinha, Centre for Contemporary Studies & Research, Uttar Pradesh

26.     Mr. Sanjay Singh, Parmarth, U.P.

27.     Dr. GV Ramanjaneyulu, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, AP

28.     Ms. S Usha, Thanal, Kerala

29.     Ms. Sangita Sharma, Annadana, Karnataka

30.     Mr. Sanket Thakur, Chhattisgarh Agricon, Chhatisgarh

31.     Dr. Ranjit Singh Ghuman, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab

32.     Mr. Benny Kuruvilla, Focus on the Global South, New Delhi

33.     Dr. Aseem Shrivastava, New Delhi

34.     Mr. Sudeep Chakravarti, Writer

35.     Mr. Devinder Sharma & Bhaskar Goswami, Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security, New Delhi

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