The International League of Peoples’ Struggle Philippines stands in solidarity with the farmers of India who are protesting the agricultural policies ushered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Much like the Philippines, the majority of India’s population are peasants. Its farmers have been protesting the agricultural policies implemented by the Indian government which deregulate the agriculture industry: sale, prices of products, and storage of farm produce. In a bid to attract private investment into the agriculture industry, Modi’s laws will effectively erase the mandi system, which is the government-controlled wholesale market system. The mandis ensure floor prices and create a benchmark price for commodities. The laws will push farmers to sell directly to agricultural businesses, allow contract farming with corporations, and remove the previously set storage limits which ensure price control. These policies will allow big corporations to dictate prices, set the terms of contract farming deals, and control the supply and demand of produce, leaving farmers further in debt and economic hardship.
Like India, the Philippines is battling its share of anti-farmer policies. Filipino farmers have long clamored for land reform, but instead face sham reforms such as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program which abetted the accumulation of land in the hands of the big landlord class, and the land-use conversion of farmlands into industrial lands or residential subdivisions. More recently, President Duterte’s Rice Liberalization Law deregulates rice imports into the country, bringing down produce prices and leading farmers to bankruptcy.
Neo-colonies such as the Philippines and India are at the mercy of imperialist countries whose interests lie in maintaining this dismal state of its neo-colonies’ economies and industries. It is the inherent character of imperialism to foster the contradiction between the industrialized, developed countries and backward, agricultural countries, because imperialism fleeces superprofits from neo-colonies through cheap raw materials and surplus labor. Imperialism employs bureaucrat capitalists such as Narendra Modi and Rodrigo Duterte who benefit from the entry of multinational and transnational corporations of imperialist powers such as the United States and China.
The ILPS Philippines and the Filipino farmers recognize that the basis of our solidarity with Indian farmers is our struggle against a common enemy — imperialism, and its neoliberal policies designed to maximize profits at the expense of farmers and the rest of the toiling masses.
The ILPS Philippines calls on the international community to join our protests against the neoliberalization of agriculture, and to intensify the struggle for genuine agrarian reform.
Stop the neoliberalization of agriculture!
Resist imperialist globalization!
Advance people’s interests over corporate profit!
Struggle for just, pro-people, sustainable food systems!
Implement Genuine Agrarian Reform!
Long live international solidarity!
Down with imperialism!