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Mobile Biodiversity Festival 2003

This colorful annual event of Deccan Development Society has entered its fifth year.

The Patha Pantala Panduga started from Tuesday, January 14, 2003. During this period of 28 days twenty specially decorated bullock carts carried the seed wealth of the region traveled over 50 villages to renew people's faith and confidence in their own agriculture and the amazing bio diversity that it harbors.

The Festival also includes food festivals under the theme Millets: God's Own Food.
Kolatams, folk dances, songs and a variety of rituals had made the festival extremely colorful and enjoyable.

The Festival 2003 acquires a special significance because of the following reasons:.

1. The principles and issues that have been enunciated by the farmers in Zaheerabad region for the last four years during the previous biodiversity festivals, has now become a national plan, having been included in the Agro Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of NBSAP - the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of the Government of India. This is probably the first time in the country that farmers from a very poor and backward region have proved that they not only have the capacity to contribute to a national plan but also are able to actually draft a plan.

2. The Festival 2003 has been making some very significant suggestions on the ways in which the concerns related to agriculture can be incorporated by Government of Andhra Pradesh.

3. To the strength of their bio diversity based agriculture the farmers of Zaheerabad region, particularly dalit women, have achieved a total food self sufficiency. It is exhilarating to note that when the rest of Andhra Pradesh is bending over backwards for their food needs, depending upon the rice supply of the central government, the women farmers of the Zaheerabad region are saying that their own agriculture can feed them and they do not need to depend upon any one.

It is this historic achievement of women that enables them to celebrate their agriculture at a time when the rest of the country is covered with anxiety.

At the Mandal headquarters of Jharasangam, Raikode, Naylakal and Zaheerabad special celebratory and unique Sadassus were held in which the farmers who have lead their communities in enhancing the bio-diversity in their farms were specially honoured.

On Thursday, February 13th the Valedictory Ceremony held at Pacha Saale, Machnoor Village. Noted Environmentalists like Dr Ashish Kothari, Eight organic farmers from Canada and a large number of farmers and sarpanches participated in this function.