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CONCLUSION OF NINTH MOBILE
BIO-DIVERSITY FESTIVAL

 

The 9th month-long Annual Mobile Biodiversity Festival concluded on 13 February 2008 at Pachasaale Campus of Machnoor village, Jharasangam Mandal, Medak District.

Dr.Krishan Bir Chaudhary, Executive Chairman, Bharatiya Krishak Samaj, New Delhi, was the Chief Guest at the function. Mr. David Bruer, Programe Manager, Inter Pares, Canada, Mr.Hanumanthrao Patel , Machnoor Sarpanch, and Ms Manemma, ZPTC, Hoti-B were invited as Special Guests.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr.P.V.Satheesh explained the purpose of the festival, and said that the inspirational impulse behind it was the passion to protect the country’s agricultural heritage against the relentless attacks of the corporate world. The mobile festival, he said, was symbolic of the struggle that lay ahead for each citizen of the countr

As part of the festival, two groups, each in ten carts, traveled across 55 villages to display the harvested glory of the region, and to enlist people’s cooperation in protecting it. The groups dialogued with more than three thousand farmers to be able to share each other’s knowledge and experiences on issues related to agricultural biodiversity. They also discussed appropriate strategies for marketing their products, the organic grains and millets, in a context riddled with multiple complexities.  The triumphal moment for the groups was the recognition that Eedulapally Village had stayed free of chemical agriculture for the last three years. Mr Satheesh said that such initiatives needed wide support and encouragement.  

Presenting a brief summary of the ‘Jatara’, Mr.Machnoor Raju  said that the caravan of carts carried 80 seed varieties and covered 4 mandals. Cutting across caste and religion, the villagers celebrated the festival with lots of cheer and joy. Politicians, farmers, youth and children, all had a festive glow on their faces. It was a time not only of warmth and gaiety, but also of stock-taking and future-building. The farmers exchanged their experiences with one another, and with people who visited them to share their information on issues such as GE and Bt.  

Hoselli Narsamma, Yedakulapalli Sangamma and Itukepalli Balamma were specially honored for their dedication to ecological farming. Quiz competitions on the theme of biodiversity were held for children in 3 mandals. The first prize was awarded to the children of Kuppanagar village, while the second was bagged by Nyalkal village. Special prizes were given to Kanjamalpur and Kalimela villages for the excellent manner in which they organized the biodiversity festival in their respective places.

Responding to the event, Mr. Krishan Bir Chowdhary said that he was pleased to find an organization which was so deeply involved in protecting the agricultural resources of the land.  He said that MNCs-mediated farming would compromise our food security and push us more and more into dependency on outside patronage. He was critical of the government for giving 66,000 crores last year to the MNCs for seed production.

Addressing the gathering, Mr.David Bruer said that more than food, what people need now is food security, and that solidarity is more important than support. He regretted the latest craze for using crops to produce fuel for the cars. He appreciated the work that DDS was doing and said that such initiatives not only saved seed, but life too!.

Mr. Hanumanthrao Patel narrated his experiences with the DDS, and said that he was so happy with his association with it that he would promise to continue supporting its good work. Many farmers also spoke on the occasion, defending their style of agriculture against the one that featured the use of chemical agents.