Farmers’ Protest 2024: Marching for MSP and Agricultural Rights

Shaurya Sharma
3 min readFeb 21, 2024

In recent weeks, the farmers of India have once again taken to the streets, embarking on a journey from various states to the national capital, Delhi. The echoes of tractor engines and the sight of determined faces mark a familiar scene, reminiscent of the impactful farmers’ protest in 2020–21. This time, their demands center around a legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP) and a farm loan waiver.

The march, initiated on February 13 by the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, gained momentum as farmers from different states made their way towards Delhi. Particularly notable was the significant participation from Punjab, where scores of farmers embarked on a ‘tractor-trolley’ march, symbolizing both resilience and a call for justice.

As the farmers approached the inter-state boundary between Haryana and Punjab, they encountered an extensive array of security measures. The Haryana government had strategically placed multi-layer barricades, reinforced with iron nails, barbed wires, concrete blocks, boulders, and trenches. The clash between farmers and the police erupted as attempts to cross these barricades were met with tear gas and water cannons.

The visual narrative underscores the intensity of the farmers’ determination, as they stand firm against obstacles to voice their demands. Despite the standoff, farmers from Punjab are camped near the inter-state boundary, poised to resume their march on February 21.

The ongoing protest unfolds against the backdrop of four rounds of talks between farmer leaders and the Union government. Unfortunately, these dialogues have yet to yield concrete results. In the latest meeting on February 18, the government proposed procuring five crops on MSP through five-year contracts. However, this offer was met with rejection from the protesting farmers.

Sarwan Singh Pandher, coordinator of the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, highlighted discrepancies in the proposal presented during the meeting, emphasizing the need for transparency. The farmers demand clarification on whether the proposed MSP is based on the A2+FL+50% method (input cost and family labor) or at the rate of C2 (input cost and land rent)+50%.

The heart of the farmers’ concerns lies in the absence of a law enforcing MSP, with accusations that the government is neglecting their demands despite promises made during earlier agitations. MSP is crucial, representing the government’s commitment to purchasing agricultural produce from farmers at a predetermined price.

The government’s stance remains firm, asserting the impracticality of announcing a guaranteed MSP. Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda emphasized the need to examine all facets before enacting such a law.

This protest revives memories of the farmers’ year-long agitation in 2020–21, where demands centered around the repeal of three contentious farm laws. The laws were eventually rolled back by the Centre, reflecting the power of collective farmer voices. Yet, the current protests highlight the persisting need for comprehensive agricultural reforms.

The farmers’ demands extend beyond MSP to encompass a complete loan waiver, a monthly pension for older farmers and laborers, withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill, reintroduction of the Land Acquisition Act, and guaranteed employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

As tractors line the roads and protesters stand resilient against barricades, the farmers’ march symbolizes a fight for their rights, the backbone of India’s agrarian landscape. The coming days will reveal whether the government will heed the calls for agricultural justice or if the farmers will once again script their demands into the pages of history.



Shaurya Sharma

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