Globalization has made tremendous impact on each and every individual as well as economy as a whole. Yes, the reason we are wearing NIKE shoes or travelling in a BMW, all counts. We are not the same any more everything changes including people.
This is not just an article for reader’s sake; this is a matter of life and death, about agony, about survival. Cartoon Courtesy: The Hindu
Our focus is on Vidarbha region in the state of Maharashtra. The region is famous for cotton cultivation, and famous for farmer suicide as well, statistics show that vidarbha region records a farmer suicide every seven hours. Situation was bad when government shifted their budgetary fund from priority to non priority areas as a part of their non-liberal policy, due to indebt and finally the climate which plays a major role in farming.
One fine morning BT seeds were introduced to farmers of vidarbha. BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis) a genetically modified seed was created by a company named MONSANTO. U.S- based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. Promotions were great increase in productivity, resistance to pests, diseases and other stressful conditions like drought, salinity or water loggings were some of their offers. Even the Maharashtra government campaigned for its promotion including television commercials. The usage of BT seeds was on a rise, everyone changed from organic seeds to BT seeds.
Over a period of time the reality hit the farmer with a brick on their face. What happened is, farmers get to know that BT cotton makes the soil infertile over a period of repeated use. Unlike organic seeds, BT seeds cannot be re-used and since no other crop can be grown on the same field again, the nutrient quality of the soil dips. And the worst is when everyone is dependent on BT seeds the company’ evil mind started to work, they rises the price of seeds making the life of farmer more miserable. Statistics shows that a kilogram of local seeds for Rs.7-10 in 1991, the same farmer bought Monsanto hybrid seeds for Rs.350 for a bag of 350gms in 2003 and for Rs.900 in 2004. Farmers started to take loans and started
to fall in the traps of private money lenders which finally leads to suicide. After doing all this what happens is that the price of cotton started to fall.
When one part of population enjoys the benefits of globalization the other part suffers. What happen is the rich people become richer and richer where as the poor become poorer and poorer. Suppose you are the CEO of an Indian company; as a part of globalization you can find several opportunities within and abroad borders. Thus giving you a chance of expanding the business.
In case of lower section which includes farmers and other small scale retailers the situation is getting worse. The latest news ‘FDI in retail’ is of course not favorable for small scale retailers. The big MNC’s will be able to sell out goods at a relatively lesser price than retailers do, if retailers reduce the price accordingly they may have to face huge loss. Thus they will lose the customers to big MNC’s. The basic thing which is to be done is to protect the farmers. Once an agrarian economy is becoming a consumer economy. Things are changing, everyone is following the western culture, and everyone needs branded products.
At present India is becoming the best market for foreign brands, mainly luxury cars, textiles, electronic goods etc; this happens mainly due to the demonstration effect. Consumers taste and preference changed. It is turning out to be a greedy corporate rat race. Simply ‘survival of the fittest’.