Friday, May 27, 2022
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Precarious Freedom

Something in Indian agriculture is being set free. But is it the farmer?

Precarious Freedom
Precarious Freedom Photograph by PTI

Thirty farmers on an average, according to government data, kill themselves every day in India—mostly after finding themselves trapped in a vicious circle of debt. And now the government has offered the Indian farmer some more freedom of the market. In this free market, somebody who owns less than 1 hectare of land and produces around 22 quintals of rice per season, for example, competes with those who own over 5 hectares and produce over 110 quintals. The farmer can choose the buyer, but the buyers—a commission agent, a corporate giant, a startup or the government—get to determine the price.

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