The deliberate dispossession of traditional seeds, practices and knowledge, promoted by agricultural policies, is systematically displacing women as custodians of seeds and sovereign food-farming, and converting them to units of subordinate labour of agri-business and consumers of their agricultural inputs.
In action to reclaim our sovereign food systems, the Food Sovereignty Jatra, started in May 2016, in districts Medak, Sangareddy, East Godavari, Chittoor and Adilabad.
This village to village campaign, generated discussions around ways to secure our seeds, regain control over food, collective farming, right to forest produce, drought resistant food systems and women led strategies towards food sovereignty.
This jatra was a caravan of posters, film screening – ‘ What is Food sovereignty’, animated debate and discussion, signature campaigns against GMO seeds and the growing atrocities against dalit students in universities. Over 1000 kgs of food crop seeds was mobilised by the Alliance and around 300 women exchanged seeds and committed to grow agro-ecologically food crops such as finger millet, traditional maize, sorghum, black gram, green gram, red gram, foxtail millet and pearl millet.
After this year- long effort to grow food crops, currently meetings are being held in villages to build our seed banks in the villages, deliberate on plans for agriculture in the coming season and vision ways in which more women can be involved in strengthening our food systems, knowledge and decision making. This also formed an important part of the conversations of Women’s Day 2017..