Over twenty thousand people, having walked 167 km to Mumbai arrive on Monday to demand better prices for their products and for more loan waivers. The group included children and genders of all ages. The crowd of protest, made up mostly of farmers, was being led by the National Farmers Organization, which has been heavily linked to the Communist Party of India.
The farmers want to be paid double what they currently receive, hoping to eventually get one and a half times what the crops coast to grow. They also want tribal farmers, who usually grow things in the forest, which belongs to India, to be able to finally own their own land.
Jijay Janandia, the Farmer Leader, said that “Agricultural income has swiftly declined in the country”. A huge part of this decline, according to protesters, is because they need their land. “Consider how difficult it is for tribals who are fighting for forest land rights, consider how difficult it is for extremely poor women who are around 60 or 70 years to march from Nashik to Mumbai in such a hot climate.”
The climate isn’t something that just affects the protester, but it has also caused issues in the area of farming. For over 20 years Kinda has been a very difficult task in a country that has been faced with drought, declining productivity, and a depleting water table. And although there is little that can be done about that situation, many farmers are upset because India sets the prices of produce, which in turn makes I harder for them to make a profit if they don’t have the ability to set their own. The other major issue is that many of the protesters spending all day working on their crops, only to have to face the hard fact that they don’t really own the land they are spending their lives working on.
Organizers have vowed to protest every single day until this issue has been released.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.