During the visit of US President George W Bush in 2006, nuclear and agriculture deals were signed. The highly publicised nuke-deal has been finalised and reached the stage of implementation. A little known deal between India and US on agriculture was signed in March 2006. It is called Indo-US Initiative on Agriculture Research and Education.

It is said that the aim of this pact is to start a Second Green Revolution in India to promote agricultural biotechnology. This agreement was prepared without transparency and its details were not known to public.

This US-India agreement will prove to be devastating, as agricultural research will go in the lap of American multinationals. This agreement will place the vast manpower and natural resources at the disposal of these multinationals. Under this pact India will be compelled to produce raw material for American companies and in turn the Americans will sell their branded end products through catchy slogans. The day is not far when these companies will decide what to be grown by Indian farmers and what to be eaten by our consumers.

Under this agreements India has already agreed to invest Rs 400 crore. Out of this Rs 300 crore will be used for genetic engineering and biotechnology products. But it is not known whether the US will be investing any money.

Investment and expenses incurred on agricultural research will be borne by us but Indian agricultural scientists will be dictated by American companies.

The so-called "Second Green Revolution" has nothing in common with the first one in which seeds were with the farmers. The game is aimed at promoting the interests of multinationals and amounts to an open invitation to American control of our resources. Indian agricultural universities, Krishi Vikas Kendras and research centres will act as promoters of the technologies of American companies.

It is claimed that training will be given to Indian farmers to enable them to use new technologies. But these training programmes will work less for the farmers and their different types of soil and promote genetic engineering in India on behalf of the American companies. On the other hand, the American multinationals will exploit Indian agriculture by branding and patenting seeds, which will adversely affect Indian farmers.

Contrary to the nuke-deal no details are available in any form on the Indo-US agriculture deal. Despite the fact that India is a country where agriculture provides nearly 600 million direct and another 200 million indirect jobs, the US-India agreement will hit the country hard and it is bound to cause large-scale plunder of the agro-rural society.

Maryam Yasmin


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