Over the past 50 years, Sikh farmers have transformed the Punjab into the “bread basket” of India, ensuring that 1.3 billion people on the Indian subcontinent have availability to food. Nearly 50% of India’s food is grown on small farms of 3 acres or less.
This has been a hero’s task, with small farmers facing an insufficient water supply, antiquated farming equipment, and high-priced storage, utility, and transportation costs. Yet, against all odds, the small rural farmer has prevailed and India has not faced food shortages since 1964.
Two new Farm Bills* passed by the Indian Government in 2020 threaten the agricultural balance in India.
Since November 26, 2020, more than a million farmers on almost 100,000 tractors and 2,000 horses from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and other states across India have been streaming into the national capital of New Delhi to protest this change. Small farmers fear losing their land and livelihood to large companies and large scale farming.
The Siri Singh Sahib Corporation and Sikh Dharma International support the farmer community in India and join our voice with theirs as they call for the protection of the agricultural model that has successfully fed the vast population of the Indian subcontinent. We pray that this protest may be resolved without further violence, and that the Sikh farmers in India are honored as a national treasure, to be protected and preserved, for the benefit of all people.
*(1) the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and (2) the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020