The profit hunger, the Corporate controls the daily lives of consumers through branding its commodities and changes the lifestyle and behaviors of millions of people of the globe as per their choice. People, worldwide is protesting unethical business practices of global corporates and fighting to bind them under ethical code of conducts. Violation of these agreed code of conducts is a normal practices of global brands, you will find if you follow the world-famous brand like Nike, Mark & Spenser’s, Levi’s, Sony etc! Lower prices for suppliers and higher prices for consumers – this is the motto of the brands. Hungry for profit, the corporate mafia’s invests millions of dollar for advertisements, but very skeptical in paying fair wages of the millions of labor of the globe. We are now in the dilemma of struggle in policy change and counter-struggle of corporate to make a loophole of the policies for making more profit. This is the common scenario of global trade, the campaigners faces this challenges in their daily lives. Beneath the dilemma, it is created a survival threats to millions of labour particularly and low income group like consumers as a whole.
In the neo-liberal economic era , there is hardly a concrete answer against the branding, but we should examine its impacts on agriculture, where about 43 percent population of Bangladesh directly involve in agricultural sector who are marginalized and poor and depends their lives and livelihoods on this sector.
A growing trends of branding agricultural commodities including rice is becoming more visible in the market and more and more corporate like ACI, BD Foods, Square, Aarong, Minabazar etc is trying to take controls of rice market as well as agricultural markets.
Many of us, mostly the agricultural researcher pushes commercialization of agriculture and the agricultural practitioners like aware farmers are now about convinced on it. But what will be the impacts on the millions of farmers which we need to examine before suggesting a whole-sale policy reform like commercialization. In the general sense, if we found, commercialization is inevitable, then we need to make a competition policy first which will make a guarantee of saving lives and livelihoods of poor and marginalized farmers under commercialized agricultural system.
The drafted agricultural policy and the sixth five year plan and also election commitment of present government have acknowledged that agriculture is the largest employment sector till now in Bangladesh and the policy document has principally agreed to ensure the security of poor and marginalized farmers including small and medium farms. We need to ensure it in practice now.
In the context, we should prepare ourselves before allowing rice brands in the market. But reality is Rice Brand is at your doorstep now! So, please think a while before response! If you response without ensuring safeguard of small and medium farms like competition policy, it will increase unemployment and misuses of labour and eventually, millions of people will be added in the poverty trap which will create more destruction against development.Vision 2021 will be a nightmare!