Swami Baba Ramdev is calling a fast from 4th June onwards against Corruption and Black Money Hoarding. Sustainable Agriculture and related matters are in his major demands ( in his main letter to the Prime Minister). Today, Swami, Acharya Balakrishna and Devinder Sharma along with others in his team was invited for a discussion with Cabinet ministers led by Pranab Mukherjee. Kapil Sibal, Pawan Bansal and Subhodh Kant sahai and the Cabinet Secretary was also there for the discussion. Today Swamiji’s team presented the demands. Devinder presented the demands on agriculture. The following are broadly the demands on agriculture
1. No Agriculture Land should be acquired for non-agri purposes
2. No Land should be acquired without the permission of the Grama Sabhas
GM and Seeds
3. A 10-year moratorium on Bt-Brinjal and all field trials and commercial release of all GM crops
4. Price regulation on Seeds
5. Every district to have a Community Controlled Seed Centre with a gene bank for traditional seeds
6. Liability in case of contamination of non-GM crops
6. A ban on all the 67 pesticides that have been banned in other countries but still used in India.
7. 12th Five Year Plan to have 25% of total agriculture area brought under Non-Pesticidal Management as in the CMSA in Andhra Pradesh (the NPM has been repeated in 3 places in the demand annexes)
8. A Land Conservation fund for farmers to the tune of Rs. 5000 crore to be allocated each year
Other farmers issues
9. A Farmers Income Commission to be setup and income guaranteed to the farmer through a Farmers Income Guarantee Act (FIGA)
10. MSP to incorporate the farmers contribution as a Skilled Labour and not as General Labour and the MSP be calculated after fixing at 50% higher that the C2 Cost.
11. 24-hr water and electricity supply to be given to farmers
12. Community grain banks in every panchayath
Education in the Agriculture, Health and Engineering Sectors to be in Hindi and other State languages.