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Initiative to make farm research ryot-oriented

Last updated: 21 September, 2009
Srinivas Sirnoorkar, Gulbarga, Sep 21, DH News Service: 23:02 IST

With the agriculture researches today becoming irrelevant to the needs of the farmers and being driven by commercial interests of the big business houses, here is an attempt made by the Alliance for Democratising Agricultural Research in South Asia (ADARSA) to make them farmer-oriented.


This is part of the global initiative is led by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) of U.K. In India, it is being led by Deccan Development Society (DDS) of Hyderabad in partnership with the Centre for Agriculture Media, Dharwad; Institute for Cultural Research and Action (ICRA), Bangalore and the famous Appico Chalavali of Sirsi.

ADARSA is an effort to bring together farmers, farmers organisations, scientists, NGOs, academicians, researchers and the media to collectively salvage researches from the control of the commercial interests of international and multi national agencies. ADARSA’s initiative revolves around reclaiming land, food production, seeds, knowledge and research.

V Satish of DDS says, as a result of agriculture researches becoming commercial, the critical areas such as genetic modification, biofuels, contract farming, hybridisation and strengthening market linkages will continue to haunt adversely. The needs of medium, small and marginal farmers as well as support to their agricultural practices find little reflection.

He also pointed out that in every other field, there will be involvement of major stake holders but it is only in agriculture research there is no involvement of stake holders. “It is high time we have to liberate the agriculture research from the clutches of business interests’’ Satish adds.

Eminent personalities

Some of the eminent personalities have been roped in to the initiative including former chief justice of India M N Venkatachalaiah, Magsaysay and Right Livelihood Award winner Dr H Sudarshan, eminent development economist Dr Gopal Kadekudi, former vice chancellor of agriculture university Dr Dwarakinath, former advisor to prime minister K R Venugopal and writer and dalit activist Devanoor Mahadeva who will act as a oversight panel for ADARSA.

In its maiden activity, the ADARSA has decided to organise an interface of farmers and agriculture scientists and research scholars in Bangalore from Nov 28 to Dec 1. The programme is titled ‘Raithara Teerpu’ (Farmers verdict) as the farmers will share their experiences and air their problems. Based on their experiences and problems the modules of agriculture research will be worked out. ADARSA insists that if India’s agriculture and agriculture knowledge systems have to thrive and revive, then research has to be led by the needs and the direction of ecological and biodiverse farmers.

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