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Vidarbha cotton farmers oppose FDI in multi-brand retail
Sep '12
Cotton growers in eastern Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region have opposed the Indian Government’s decision of allowing 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector.
Several suicide cases have happened in the cotton growing region of Vidarbha due to the state’s pro-MNC policies, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a farmers advocacy group, said. 
VJAS leader Kishore Tiwari said the latest reforms proposed by the Indian Government such as allowing 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail sector, along with the hike in diesel prices and subsidy cuts, would pave way for MNCs to obtain control over the entire agrarian economy of the country.
He said Vidarbha is a perfect example that shows how allowing foreign investments in agriculture inputs allows MNCs to build monopolies, giving rise to unfair trade practices like cartelization. 
Over 9,000 farmers have committed suicide since 2005 when American MNC Monsanto was allowed to take over the region’s cotton economy. Following continuous and strong opposition, the Maharashtra government ultimately agreed to ban Bt cotton in the region, but the decision came after several farmers lost their lives, Mr. Tiwari said.
The Government’s latest decision makes way for entry of MNCs like Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour in the Indian business space, which would further intensify the agrarian crisis, which on an average has caused one farmer to commit suicide every eight hours, he added.
Mr. Tiwari said the proposed reforms would prove to be the last stroke on the farmers, which would annihilate them in such a manner that they would never be able to recover.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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