Thousands of farmers continue to occupy key highways leading to India’s capital New Delhi in protest against recently enacted agricultural laws.
The blockade of highways that has now entered its fourth week is obstructing transportation and dealing a blow to manufacturing and businesses in the north.
Farmers fear the government will stop buying grain at minimum guaranteed prices and corporations will then push prices down.
Some are even writing letters in their blood, asking Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal all three newly enacted laws.
Modi’s government has said it is willing to pledge that guaranteed prices will continue.
The protesting farmers say the laws will lead to the cartelisation and commercialisation of agriculture and make farmers vulnerable to corporate greed.
Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, defended the laws at a press conference on Tuesday.
He said the laws will bring big improvements to the agricultural sector and benefit farmers.
Nearly 60% of the Indian population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods.
The government says the reforms will enable farmers to market their produce and boost production through private investment.