In Memory of Komaram Bheem, G. Demudu and Bhaskar Save

We gathered around the Jilugu[1] tree, the sacred tree of the Koya and Kondareddi adivasis of the Eastern Ghats, as young Adivasi activists of the Adivsi Aikya Vedika begin their Popular Education Program on this day 27th October 2015; the day when Komaram Bheem, the great Adivasi Gond leader was killed, fighting for the rights of the Gond people to their Jal, Jungle and Zamin.

We also remembered with love and respect : G. Demudu, the Adivasi leader from Vishakapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, from the Communist Party of India, who passed away yesterday 26th October 2015 and Sri Bhaskar Save ji, who left his beloved Mother earth on October 24th 2015.

Young Gond Adivasi activists Anand and Nageshwari , read out their poem on Kumaram Bheem, spoke about his life and how even after being shot by the police, he walked 25 steps crying out: “ This Water, Forest and Mother Earth are ours !”. His life and struggle gives power and strength to Adivasis who continue to resist the capture of their territories. We ended singing for Komaram Bheem ; “ Gutta Metta Keda Guda………“

Kunjam Pandu Dora, and Madhoo reminded us all of G. Demudu, the Konda Dora Adivasi leader who despite being elected twice by the Advasi people of Vishakapatnam district as their MLA, continued to lead a peoples life of struggle, living in his village, and being the voice that has led the fight of Adivasi people of Vishkapatnam district against Bauxite mining, that threatens to destroy their territory, lives and way of living in harmony with Mother earth.

Sagari recalled Bhaskar Save ji’s words at the Natural Farming Workshop at the Kalpavruksh Farm,  in January 2015,on how his first teachers of Natural Farming were the Bhil Adivasis, who introduced him to the sacred relationship between people, forests, farming and food. We are blessed, and privileged to have learnt from his knowledge and wisdom, and dedicate today to sustaining his philosophy of farming, that embraces all life forms: so similar to the Adivasi philosophy of Manchi Jeevitam or Buen vivir.

Johar Amara Veerulu! Johar !  Long Live Adivasis! Long Live Mother Earth !

Adivasi Aikya Vedika, India

Food Sovereignty Alliance, India

October 27th 2015

Girijana Deepika Resource Centre, D. Bhimavaram Village, Eastern Ghats, AP

[1] The Elephant Palm TreeDSC_0057DSC_0252

THE MILK CRISES OF 2015 – A DIALOGUE OF FARMERS’ MOVEMENTS OCTOBER 21, 2015 – PRESS RELEASE

Farmer leaders from the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Food Sovereignty Alliance (FSA), Karnataka Rajya Ryatha Sangha (KRRS), South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (SICCFM), Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (ICCFM), Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam and the Tamil Nadu Women’s Collective, participated in a dialogue on the ongoing milk crises confronting small and marginal dairy farmers across India. The Food Sovereignty Alliance (FSA) convened this dialogue in Chennai, on October 21, 2015, to chalk out a collective strategy to protect the livelihoods of  small and marginal dairy farmers and people’s milk markets (commonly referred to as the “informal” or “unorganised” dairy sector).

A price war is raging between dairy processors (cooperatives and private companies) of the organised dairy sector, to sell milk to consumers at extremely low prices in urban centres. This has been accompanied by a steep reduction in milk procurement prices paid to farmers by dairy processors and the volume of milk procured by them. The current procurement prices, are far below the production costs incurred by farmers, thus driving them into ever deepening debt. Small and marginal farmers, whose livelihoods depend on selling milk and who are the backbone of the milk market, have been hardest hit. This has also severely affected the people’s milk markets.

At the dialogue, farmers were alerted to some of the key factors driving the destruction of small milk producers’ livelihoods. One of the most significant factors is the increased integration of India’s organised dairy sector into the global dairy markets. A global slump in skimmed milk powder (SMP) prices started in July 2014. The slump triggered a massive decline in Indian SMP exports and a build up of undisposed domestic SMP stocks. Dairy processors have attempted to dispose these stocks as reconstituted liquid milk, in different parts of the country, rather than procuring milk from farmers at fair prices. A critical ingredient of reconstituted milk is butter fat. The accompanying sharp spike in imports of subsidized butter fat primarily from the EU and USA into India, is most likely linked to a huge demand by dairy processors for butter fat,  to reconstitute milk from SMP. Cheap butter fat imports threaten to further depress procurement prices. All of this has and will continue to severely impact the Indian milk producers, pushing them out of production.

Farmers’ movements reiterate the critical importance of livestock in agriculture and assert how in these times of deep agrarian distress, livestock rearing and dairying are the only dependable livelihoods. The Farmers Movements unanimously and strongly condemn the failure of both Central and State Governments to take necessary actions to protect small farmer livelihoods that depend upon dairying and livestock rearing. We also resolve to take this dialogue forward at State and National Levels and organise against the systematic decimation of small farmers livestock based livelihoods and people’s milk markets.

Press Release Issued By

Dr Sagari R Ramdas, Member, Coordinating Council, Food Sovereignty Alliance (FSA), foodsovereigntyalliance@gmail.com

Mr K.T.Gangadhar, Convenor and Mr S. Kannaiyan, General Secretary, South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (SICCFM), ktgandhar21@gmail.com ; sukannaiyan69@gmail.com

Mr Yudhvir Singh and Mr Rakesh Tikait, Coordinators, Bharatiya Kisan Union and Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (ICCFM), yudhvir55@gmail.com

Mr  Sellamuthu, President, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, Tamil Nadu

Mr Chamrasa Patil, President,  Karnataka Rajiya Ryatha Sangham (KRRS) chamarasamalipatil@gmail.com

October 22nd 2015, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

2015 Milk Crisis Press Release – Telugu

Milk Crisis Press Release - Telugu pg 1Milk Crisis Press Release - Telugu pg2Photos of the dialogue are as below:

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For details please read the briefs in English, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi.

The Milk Crises of 2015 – A Dialogue and Re-visioning Animals in Our Farming Livelihoods

Domestic milk markets in India are in crises. A price war is raging between dairy processors, to sell milk at extremely low prices in urban cities. This has been accompanied by a steep reduction in milk procurement prices paid, as also the volume of milk procured from producers by dairy processors. Small and marginal farmers, whose livelihoods depend on selling milk and who are the backbone of this market, have been hardest hit. This has also severely affected the people’s milk market, commonly referred to as the “informal” or “unorganised” milk markets. The FSA was alerted to the crises by its member small farmers from Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh and Medak district in Telangana. In trying to understand the issue in greater detail, the FSA discovered that this is not merely a crises for small farmers of Chittoor and Medak: it is a grave crises that is impacting small farmers nationally and globally. They stand poised to be thrown out of their livelihoods en-masse. Given the urgency of the issue, it became apparent to the FSA that we need to get a better understanding of the ground reality, through dialogue with as many small milk producer farmers as possible. Through this dialogue will emerge a collective strategy to resist the systematic planned decimation of small producers and people’s milk markets. The dialogue is scheduled for October 21, 2015 at the Dhyana Ashram, Mylapore, Chennai. 

Read this preparatory note that sets context for the  dialogue 

MilkCrisesDialogue_PreparatoryNote

MILK CRISIS PREP NOTE TELUGU final

Milk Crisis prep note Hindi

milk crises prep note in kannada