Privatizing Agriculture in India
Anirudha Gajula ’22, Hyderabad, India
Major: International Relations
In November 2020, throngs of farmers began to officially protest the set of agricultural bills that had been approved by the Indian Parliament and had gained the President’s assent on September 27. Why did they protest? Evidently, the government is pushing for the privatization of the agricultural sector and is decreasing subsidization of food stocks. Research shows that privatization had a strong negative effect on agricultural output in Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania. This effect is primarily due to the decline in technical efficiency. Correspondingly, a majority of the small scale farmers who dominate the Indian agricultural sector do not have the infrastructure and resources to navigate the legal consequences of the new bills.
This paper examines global privatization enterprises similar to the one being implemented in India, including domestic case studies within the country. By examining past successes and failures, the paper showcases the possible scenarios that might arise in India. This paper also examines the possible consequences of increased competition in the labor market in the agricultural sector.
The key to establishing a middle ground between farmers and agribusiness firms is to focus government oversight on the extension of services aimed at educating farmers on doing business with firms. In doing so, farmers are protected from potential exploitation.