We the members of Food Sovereignty Alliance, seek your support to take forward our campaign Theatre for Life.
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Smallholder farmers of Badampet village in Telangana, India, like thousands across the country, have lost control over their resources and food, resulting in crippling debt and suicide amongst people in rural areas.
During the final months of 2017 twenty farmers from Badampet village, cutting across diverse ages, genders castes, communities and religions worked together to devise a play depicting their crisis.
The theatre performed in the village, created a space for dialogue that is already bearing fruit, with farmers envisioning collective ways to regain control of their land, food and lives. Families who have felt isolated in their struggles for too long, are recognising the power of collective action.
Performances in more villages, is crucial for widening this dialogue amongst farmers, towards changing their lives. Your support will make this possible.
Amidst the intensive corporate agriculture, saffronisation of food culture, monoculture of crops, sanction of GMO trials , and the continued onslaught on the resources, land and local markets, we members of the FSA, in Medak, Sangareddy, Adilabad, East Godavari, Srikakulam and Chittoor districts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are involved in a deep reflection, at the family, community and village levels to enquire into the roots of why our food and agriculture systems have changed, the strength of our traditional food cultures, and ways to organise and envision collective actions to reclaim and recover our sovereign agricultural systems and food webs. The dialogues at the family were collectivised at the community level and finally several villages met to deepen discussions for actions.
Medak and Sangareddy District
East Godavari and Srikakulam
Chittoor – Kalahasti
Chittoor – Madanapalli
This past two years has witnessed farmers across India demonstrating for their livelihoods: a hike in milk procurement prices has featured as a key demand. Their demand reflects a grave crisis underway in the Indian milk market, which is threatening to undermine the multifunctional role of livestock and the way of life of entire communities.
Small and marginal farmers, the backbone of the Indian milk market, have been hardest hit by a price war waged by dairy processors (companies), beginning January 2015. Faced with mounting stocks of unexportable milk powder, brought on by a slump in global milk powder prices, some of the big domestic dairy players began to flood the domestic market with cheaply priced milk for consumers. At the same time they were lowering the prices at which they were procuring milk from farmers. This was severely affecting small farmers and has also impacted the peoples’ milk market, commonly referred to as the “informal” or “unorganised” milk market.
Building on research in the Indian States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the Food Sovereignty Alliance (FSA) shows how this crisis extends well beyond the small farmers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh State in South India. It affects small farmers nationally as well as globally. This book tells the story of how global trends including the onging threats of multilateral trade agreements such as the EU-India Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Pact (RCEP), are driving countless small dairy farmers into debt and ultimately out of farming. It calls for a solution, based on nurturing the resilience of the small, localised networks of milk producers, cooperatives and consumers.
The authors provide clear evidence that the only hope for the future lies in localised peoples’ milk markets based on agro-ecological livestock cultures: cultures where livestock are reared, not as machines to produce single commodities, but as sentient beings playing a multifaceted role in food farming production systems.
This report authored by the Dairy Working Group of the Food Sovereignty Alliance, will be of interest to farmers’ movements, Dairy Cooperatives, Students, Researchers, Policy framers and anybody who is interested in understanding what it takes to bring them their daily glass of milk!
The report can be accessed at The Milk Crisis in India
The Bovine Politics public lecture and dialogue by Sagari R Ramdas, was held on 15th and 16th September 2017, in Bengaluru. The event was organised at the Azim Premji University (PG Campus and UG Campus), and the Baduku Community College.
The talk sparked off critical debates, unpacked the reality of markets, the key role of slaughter in sustenance of the cow, and enumerated the growing nexus between corporates, religion and state. The dialogue in Baduku Community College, was an interaction with youth from rural Karnataka, students, professors, ecologists, artists , animal rights activists and activists from other movements. The youth corroborated the negative effect of the ban on sale of cattle and buffalos in animal markets, on farmers. This rendered a very vibrant, debate that is critical in today’s context and political climate.
People expressed interest in being involved in the ongoing actions and enquiry into the politics of beef and were keen to organise further such dialogues.
Vibrant debates and dialogues at Baduku Community College
Sparking minds at Azim Premji University, UG
We strongly condemn the recent threats to Prof Kancha Iliah, and the continuing attacks on the freedom of speech and expression, manifesting in the form of defamation cases, death threats, threats to register FIR and the violent promotion of crude measures such as capital punishment.
The constitution of India upholds the democratic tenets of every citizen to freely express their opinions, thoughts, and ideas. If you have a difference of opinion wield the pen to express your counter opinion and register your disagreement.
Self-appointed protectors and rakshaks of everything from cows to their limiting idea of India, are emboldened to act today, with complete impunity under the current political dispensation, in complete violation of India’s Consitution.
No more Gauris, Dabholkars, Pansares, Kalburgis !