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National Workshop for Farmer’s Call For Civil Disobience Movement
 

Response to a oppressive anti farmer policies of government

The two day National workshop on Biodiversity Act 2002 for farmer’s group that was organized on 15th and 16th January at DDS-KVK, Andhra Pradesh decided to launch a nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement to oppose a series of oppressive laws enacted by the government concerning patents, seeds, plant varieties protection and biodiversity.

Farmer leaders from 12 Indian states who attended a two day consultation
Another major decision taken by the farmer leaders was to offer a civil disobedience to the totally non participatory manner in which these laws have been enacted. One form of this civil disobedience would be not to form Biodiversity Management Committees in villages, as stipulated by the Biodiversity Act. The other form would be to save seeds in the village seed banks defying the current legal provisions of compulsory registration.

The farmer leaders also decided to hold a day long demonstration in front of the Patancheru based ICRISAT [International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics] to protest its attempt to start trials on Bt Bajra [a genetically modified bajra crop]. Simultaneously the farmer organisations from Tamil Nadu will launch protest demonstrations against the Coimbatore Agricultural University which has been launching many trials of Genetically Modified crops.

The farmers leaders from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh & West Bengal were unanimous in their opinion that the Biodiversity Act, which was passed ostensibly to protect the interests of local communities vis a vis their local bioresources, was so framed as to take away whatever control people had over them. Currently all the powers over the bioresources was vested with the National Biodiversity Authority, which the farmers felt was a gross form of centralisation at the cost of local communities.

The farmer leaders were also exercised over the draconian provisions contained in the Seed Bill which would prevent farmers from saving their own seeds, a millennial old tradition followed by farmers. They felt that each one of the new laws and acts was framed to please the corporate interests by sacrificing farmers’ interests.

In response the farmers organisation [that included Karnataka Rajya Rytha Sangha, Indian Farmers and Toilers Party from Tamil Nadu, Beej Bachao Andolan from Uttaranchal, Kheti Virasat Mission from Punjab] decided to launch a series of agitations including many civil disobedience movements.

Some of the major decisions taken were:

  1. No formation of Biodiversity management committees at the village panchayats until these committees were empowered with sufficient powers over their resources
  2. Sending the Prime Minister resolutions to this effect from all over India
  3. One day All India rally against the government’s anti farmer policy
  4. Large scale agitation against Coimbatore based Tamil Nadu Agricultural University against its pro- GM approach.

In terms of their positive agenda, the farmer’s organisations decided to:

  1. Creation of five acres of natural farms in every village to demonstrate the possibility of Chemical-Free zones
  2. Formation of Community Seed Banks
  3. Promotion of indigenous crops and food culture
  4. Formation of Youth Green Brigades in all villages across the country to protect their bioresources.

The two day consultation was organised by the Deccan Development Society, Hyderabad, Kalpavriksh, Pune and GRAIN, New Delhi