Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | File image: A farmer shouts slogans as they participate in a three-hour 'chakka jam (road blockade)', as part of protests against the three contentious farm reform laws on a highway on the outskirts of New Delhi, India on February 6, 2021. (Image: Reuters/Adnan Abidi)
The US National Farmers Union has come out in support of protesting farmers in India. The Union that represents 200,000 American farm families and their communities, according to its website, it has been fighting the same market-oriented farm policies that devasted the American rural landscape forcing small farmers out of agriculture.
“For three months, hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers have been protesting policies that will eliminate commodity price floors and allow corporations to play a more significant role in the food system – issues that are all too familiar to farmers in the United States,” the Union said in a press statement.
“Following a wave of similar deregulatory actions in the 1970s and 1980s, large agribusinesses quickly amassed control of the American food chain while farmers and consumers were stripped of much of their power and protection,” it said.
The Union said it seeks to promote and advance family farm agriculture, not only in the United States but around the globe. In accordance with that goal, the NFU Board of directors has voiced its support for the protests, it said.
“Our fellow farmers in India are fighting against measures that would shift authority over the agricultural industry towards corporations as well as weaken policies that sustain farmers and their communities. If our experience here in the United States is any indication, they are right to be concerned,” the statement said.
Last week, 87 farmers’ unions from the United States had extended solidarity to the ongoing protests by farmers in India. The unions had called the ongoing protests at Delhi’s borders “one of the world’s most vibrant protests in history.”
Thousands of protesting farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, have been camped at Delhi’s borders for almost three months, demanding the repeal of the farm laws. The negotiations with the government broke down on January 22. During a tractor rally on January 26, a section of the farmers broke off from the rally route and engaged in violent clashes with the police.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on February 25 that the government was ready to hold talks with farmers to end the protest.