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 !
We the members of the Food Sovereignty Alliance condemn the fascist forces that led to the unjust death of Gauri Lankesh, another martyr in the long list of people who relentlessly fought for justice, truth and freedom.
Johar Gauri Lankesh
Sagari R Ramdas from the Food Sovereignty Alliance, in a panel discussion on NDTV 24X7, on the recent notification by MOEF banning the sale of cattle for slaughter in Animal Markets.
Food Sovereignty, Social Justice and Buen Vivir: Reflecting on our Praxis
We (Food Sovereignty Alliance,India and Kudali Intergenerational Learning Centre) successfully completed “Molaka” – a Popular Education workshop for Community Activists of the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India on ‘ Food Sovereignty, Social Justice and Buen Vivir: Reflecting on our Praxis’ at Kūdali Intergenerational Learning Centre . 25 community leaders from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, participated in the workshop organised from April 13th-25th 2017. Various creative transformative and emancipatory methods such as visualisation in participation, art in transformation, media for action, and forum theatre based on ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’, were used to deepen reflection for advancing actions.
Beginning each day with ‘Mayasabha’ : the community assembly of activists
Remembering Ambedkar : 14th April
My beautiful village on the banks of the Godavari and resisting the Polavaram Dam
Commemorating Indravelly April 20th ………
Earth Day April 22nd
Capitalism: The project of death
So this is how the rich become richer: understanding class and capital playing ‘Molaka Santha’
Land, Food and Farming: Past – Present and Future
By-passing Food and Agriculture Empires : Critical dialogues in our local markets
Critical Dialogues on the past, present and future of Food and Social Justice
Forum Theatre: Deepening Critical Dialogue for transformative Action