Members of New Zealand's Indian community marched in Wellington on Wednesday, showing support for farmers back home concerned a move towards privatisation will lead to impoverishment.
The organiser of the march, who asked to be referred to only by his last name, Singh, told Newshub he comes from a farming background and hoped to send a message to the Indian government.
"Everyone should support farmers because they are the people who feed us. Being a farmer myself, I know the hardships farmers face. The food we eat in our meals comes from the farmers' fields. The farmers have supported us since the beginning, now is the time for us to pay back and help our farmers."
Massey University associate professor Sita Venkateswar, an expert in Indian food production, said the protests were sparked by the introduction of three new Bills in September which loosened the rules that previously protected Indian farmers from the uncertainty of the free market.
A majority of farmers in India sell the bulk of their produce at government-controlled markets, where they are guaranteed a minimum price for their goods. But that system is now under threat as the government moves to privatise the country's farming sector.
And with the livelihood of more than 60 percent of India's population dependent on farming, Dr Venkateswar said the new Bills will have enormous consequences in the country.
"What it is essentially doing is creating a 'free market' with all the associated rhetoric around liberalisation and reform and improvements, which doesn't really work in a context like India," she told Newshub.
The Government says the reforms won't lead to lower incomes for farmers, but critics are unconvinced.
Dr Venkateswar said the move reflects a "steady corporate takeover of the entire agricultural sector", where there are few provisions to protect poor or middle-income farmers.
"It seems to be a way forward to even more impoverishment of farmers during a period when there is a global pandemic, where people are already suffering, where livelihoods are already affected," she said.
"If the intent was to really help the farmers then what should be done is a guarantee of a minimum support price for every produce that comes to market and ways to ameliorate [farmers'] indebtedness, because farming is in crisis.
"If those two things can be put in place securely then everything else will fall into place, but without those guarantees it can only go down hill with more and more impoverishment."
Talks between protesters and the Government are continuing, but so far no compromise has been found.
Dr Venkateswar said so with so many people dependent on the agriculture sector, many have sympathised with the protesters' cause.
"Certainly there is a lot of sympathy for this and there is a lot of other activism that has joined hands to work alongside farmers," she said.
The Indian diaspora has also rallied in support, with the march in Wellington just one a number of events taking place around the globe.
World leaders such as Candian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have also weighed in on the issue. In a recent broadcast on Facebook, Trudeau expressed "concern" over how the protest was being handled by Indian authorities. India's foreign ministry responded by accusing Trudeau of "unacceptable interference".
Singh said those marching in Wellington will meet with the Indian High Commissioner to express their concerns around the new laws.
"We want to send a message to the Indian government to withdraw these unconstitutionally passed Bills," he said.
"We want the Indian government to engage in dialogue with the farmers and pass laws which are helpful for farmers.
"India claims to be the biggest democracy in the world. It's about time they should act like one."