November 10, 2010

Obama in India

Filed under: Food and Farms, Globalization — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 3:16 am

Some commentary from the people most affected.

Mr. Barak Obama is in New Delhi today, to seek greater market access for the American agricultural goods in India. What the US couldn’t achieve through the Doha Round of WTO negotiations, Mr. Obama would try to get that through a bilateral deal with India. Today, the Bhartiya Kissan Unions staged a massive demonstration at the Parliament Street in Delhi protesting against Obama’s visit to India and his agenda to sign bilateral agricultural and trade deals to facilitate takeover of Indian agriculture by the US multinationals.
The United States is pushing India for removing all barriers in the way of US exports to India and we are quite sure that Mr. Obama’s would secure this today, without making any commitment towards reduction in US farm subsidies, especially in cotton, which India has been demanding during the 9 years of Doha negotiations. The increased market access to agricultural goods of the United States would be disastrous for the Indian farmers who had suffered a lot in the last 15 years of WTO regime due to the dumping of subsidized cotton from US which resulted in sharp fall in cotton prices and increased farmers suicide in the cotton belt of India

We, the farmers of India, mainly from Bhartiya Kissan Unions, are also quite agitated and upset with the furthering of Indo-US cooperation in agriculture. Since 2006, when Mr. Bush signed the Indo-US Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture, we have witnessed a greater penetration of US agribusiness companies in our policy making on agriculture as well as in our agricultural research institutions, such IARI, ICAR and agricultural universities. This also resulted in different policy initiatives in agriculture, like the new Seeds Bill, the National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority bill 2009, Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008 to benefit US agribusiness mainly Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill and others. Moreover, the US retail giant, Wal-Mart, has been publicly lobbying for opening up India’s retail sector to FDI and in this visit the thrust of Obama’s engagement would be on opening up of the food retail, which would result in complete takeover of Indian small retail. We, therefore, fear that any kind of the Indo-US agricultural treaty, focusing on agricultural research, biotechnology, retail, would bring Indian agriculture under the direct control of US Corporate houses.

Obama and all supporters of neoliberalism are the murderers of those suicides.


  1. The Indian ruling class wants to force people out of the country side and into urban factories, so this is no problem for them.

    Kissinger said something once about ‘control food, control a country’.

    Comment by purple — November 11, 2010 @ 3:56 am

    • Yup, all peoples face their own version of the same criminal gang.

      Comment by Russ — November 11, 2010 @ 5:48 am

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