Please zoom in or out and select the base layer according to your preference to make the map ready for printing, then press the Print button above.

IFFCO Kisan SEZ in Nellore, AP, India


Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) had proposed to develop a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, known as IFFCO Kisan SEZ (IKSEZ). The project is wholly owned by subsidiaries of IFFCO and mainly focused on Agro based products; it offers various customs duty, income tax and sales tax concessions provided by the Government of India to promote economic activity. It is inspired by the concept of "Integrated Agropark", defined as "systems innovation of metropolitan agro production, processing and logistics."[8] According to the IFFCO website the mission of the IKSEZ is “ to empower the Indian farmer by developing a “Farmer Owned – Farmer Managed” SEZ with state of the art infrastructure facilities catering primarily to the food processing industry and housing global manufacturing majors” [5]. Many global as well as local Investors have showed their interest in the SEZ [7] For this project a total of 2,776 acres of land has been acquired and an Rs. 2,400 crore was proposed and an initial investment [1]. The aim of this Kisan SEZ is to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities to a wide range of industries but mainly to food processing and agri-based industries.

To avoid conflict with farmers, IFFCO made local farmers direct shareholders in the upcoming project. According to IFFCO Chairman (reported in The Hindu January 4, 2008), the project is the country’s first Kisan SEZ, which will generate more than 10,000 jobs. Also, according to IFFCO, the project would not displace any farmer as the land, about 2,800 acres, was already in possession of the cooperative. Alongside the multi-product SEZ, IFFCO plans to set up a technical training facility for the farmers [2].

Although, the project has got formal approval from the ministry of Commerce, Government of India, Board of Approvals for Special Economic Zones has rejected the IFFCO’s proposal. According to the SEZ board of approval, the project is not in conformity with the SEZ Act and Rules [3]. Serious concerns have been raised over possible violation of rules of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). Many fear that the government's relaxed policies on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the rush to sign Free Trade Agreements (FTA) will attract global companies seeking a 'cash cow' to invest in India, which has perhaps the world's largest livestock population.

According to Varghese, "Indian dairy farmers already are in crisis with increased cost of production and non-remunerative prices. The scarcity of natural resources and crop residue for fodder has defined the death of traditional grazing practices. The productivity of cattle is based on its care and management; however farmers will be forced to switch over to efficient food, and care intensive breeds to compete. This spells a bleak future for the conservation of endemic bovine with lower yield but higher tolerance to environmental stressors."[10] Varghese further explains why such international consortia are interested in investing in such mega plants in India: "The continued 3% approximate growth of milk production, bundled with a low production cost, the per capita consumption growing at 1.5% annually, and improved incomes causing a surge in consumption makes India attractive to investments. Once the economics and the production facilities are put into place, and the 'pilot' project is found ‘acceptable', this consortium plans at least 10 other such dairy farms in other locations in India.”

IFFCO has got permission from the government to import 3,000 cows from New Zealand. With this, the project will produce around 1 lakh liters a day, which according to rule is not sufficient to set up milk products plant [3] As IFFCO failed to set up the proposed agriculture hub, the villagers are demanding to return their lands. As the project become a non-starter, it was not able to fulfill the promises of job for the local people. To press their demands to the concerned authorities, the villagers in the Nellore Lok Sabha (Lower house of the Indian Parliament) constituency and Polavaram assembly (Andhra Pradesh Assembly constituency) seat boycotted the elections held in 2012. According to the villagers more than 500 acres of land was forcibly acquired by the district administration and handed over to IFFCO without any form of compensation [4].

As per June 2014, most of the needed infrastructure has been laid down, including a 27-km boundary wall and a 14 km peripheral road. An 80 MT weigh bridge, power distribution network and a pipeline for water supply were also among the works completed. According to The Hindu [9], "a proposal came up for an investment of Rs. 2,000 to start a chemical processing plant for 100 per cent exports."

Basic Data

Name of conflict:IFFCO Kisan SEZ in Nellore, AP, India
State or province:Andhra Pradesh
Location of conflict:District-Nellore
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The SEZ is based on about 2776 acres of land. IKSEZ is based on the concept of Integrated Agropark.

Project area:1,000
Level of Investment:$ 398,129,816 (Rs 2,400 crore)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10,000-20,000
Start of the conflict:2007
Company names or state enterprises:Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) from India
IFFCO Kisan SEZ (IKSEZ) from India
Global Dairy Health from India
Fonterra from New Zealand - Participation in the Kisan SZ consortium
Relevant government actors:Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), Department of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Food and Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Political Party CPI (ML), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Public campaigns
Boycott of the election


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsAnimal Right Violation


Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:The villagers are against the SEZ because it was not able to fulfill its promise of jobs for the locals. With their demands villagers boycotted both parliament and legislative assembly elections and did not vote. No political party made any promise to meet the demand of voters because the number of voters in the villages is quite low which has very little effect on the overall result of the election [4].
An animal welfare organization, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations, New Delhi, is strongly against the project. According to this organization, housing of about 40,000 animals in a single Mega dairy is very harmful for the animals and also to the environment [6].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Nellore Lok Sabha constituency and seven villages from Polavaram assembly seat did not participate in the elections. In the mode of protest, villagers retained form the voting and demanded that their land to be returned [4].

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Andhra Pradesh Cow Protection Act

The Special Economic Zone Act, 2005,%202005.pdf

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] IFFCO Kisan SEZ

[2] IFFCO to set up Kisan SEZ

[3] SEZ board rejects Iffco proposal for dairy

[4] 'Neglected' villages boycott bypolls

[5]IFFCO Kisan SEZ

Activity picks up at Iffco Kisan SEZ

India's first Kisan SEZ to come up in Andhra Pradesh

[7] Global cos may join Iffco’s Kisan SEZ

[8] Agropark

[9] The Hindu

[10] A Sour Undertaking, by J. Varghese

[6] Stop India's first mega dairy in Andhra Pradesh

Meta information

Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update09/10/2014



Kisan SEZ

Source :