A Seminar on ' Agriculture Crisis In Punjab And Its Solution' was held on 23rd January, 2016 at Chandigarh as part of a series of programmes being organised by the Punjab State Committee of CPI(M) in connection with the observance of the birth Centenary of Comrade Harkishan Singh
Dr. Jagroop Singh Sekhon from Guru Nanak Dev University said that Indian agriculture has two aspects; 'Peasantry Crisis' & 'Agriculture Crisis'. Both require a deep study. He outlined some basic reasons for the agriculture crisis like climate change, irregular monsoon, globalisation, decreasing land holdings, cut on subsidies, land debts, increase in input costs and fall in agricultural income etc.
Dr. Balwinder Singh from Punjabi University said that the reason for suicides of peasants is not confined to agriculture crisis alone but it is also directly related to out of reach education and health services. He further said that there is virtually no significant development in agricultue research. He quoted a survey to say that that only 10 percent peasants are members of Kisan organisations and underlined the need for them to get organised and launch struggles.
Prof. Harbans Singh Sidhu, former Chairman, Punjab School Education Board said that the root cause of the agrarian crisis lies in the new agrarian technology itself and the subsequent anti-farmer policies being pursued by the Indian State. He further said that while the Indian State is extremely benevolent to corporte houses and big business, it has no funds to support the hands which feed the nation.
Vijoo Krishnan, Joint Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha and Central Committee Member, CPI(M) while speaking on the occasion said that if the peasants are committing suicides in Punjab which contributes major share in the central food pool, the condition of peasantry in other states can be well imagined. He explained in detail the reasons for crisis in agriculture sector and continuous fall in budgetary support for agriculture and irrigation by successive governments. Globalisation and WTO have played havoc for Indian agricuture.
Charan Singh Virdi, Secretary, Punjab, CPI(M) thanked the experts and participants and hoped that the inputs will help in planning strategy and struggle to force the government to adopt pro-agriculture and pro-peasantry policies.