The government says the new farm acts will be beneficial to small and marginal farmers. But, in reality, APMC mandis and MSP have offered protection to this category of farmers, who make up almost 85 per cent of the farming community in India.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and other states are in Delhi to protest against the new farm acts. Almost all farmers’ organisations across the country are protesting too. The farmers say they won’t leave Delhi till the draconian laws are withdrawn. They have been able to draw support from other sections of the society, and a large number of people have expressed solidarity with the farmers on social media.
The government, on the other hand, is claiming that farmers have been misguided by the opposition parties and the new laws are, in fact, beneficial to them.
In reality, what is the plight of small and marginal farmers who make up almost 85 per cent of the farming community in our country? Farmers having less than two hectares (five acres) of land are called small farmers and those having less than one hectare (2.5 acres) are called marginal farmers. However, the average land holding of marginal farmers, who constitute around 65 per cent of total farmers in India, is less than one acre (0.4 hectares) and the average land holding of small farmers is around three acres (1.21 hectares).