‘NGOs getting foreign funds to work against Indian farmers’

April 18th, 2011 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, April 18 (IANS) An umbrella group of farmers’ organisations Monday alleged that various NGOs were getting funds from foreign organisations to run campaigns against Indian farmers and sought a tab be kept on such groups.

“There are foreign organisations that are funding NGOs against the interest of farmers in the country. We have collected evidence through RTI (Right to Information),” Federation of Indian Farmers Organisations (FIFO) convener M.J. Khan told reporters here, adding they had also written to the home ministry on the issue.

“Through RTI, we have found the European Union has funded Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) with Rs.56 crore for catalysing the formation of pressure group against a popular pesticide, endosulfan,” he said.

He said FIFO also demands a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into CSE’s sources of funding and its work.

He said that nearly 75 million Indian farmers use endosulfan because it is very effective and economical.

“Certain foreign-funded NGOs are playing a clandestine roles in the garb of environmental work and pushing for ban on endosulfan. They are clearly threatening India’s food production,” he alleged.

FIFO, which is headquartered in New Delhi, is promoted by India’s major farmers’ groups like Bhartiya Krishak Samaj, Confederation of Kisan Organisations, Rashtriya Kisan Sangathan, Gujarat Farmers Federation, All India Vegetable Growers Association, Bhartiya Kisan Union, and All India Medicinal Plants Association.

On other demands of FIFO, Khan said : “We demand that government should start an income insurance scheme of Rs.5,000 crore so that farmers could be covered by price fluctuation and crop failures. We demand a fair price for our produce and not subsidies.”

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