Reclaiming agricultural research


The increase in farmer suicides, agri-sector debts, massive acquisition of farming land for industrial purposes, and threats related to new technologies have been central to the shape and dimension of the problem.

Seeking some solutions is the Alliance for Democratising Agricultural Research in South Asia (ADARSA). It is part of a global initiative grounded in Peru-Bolivia in Latin America, Mali-Burkina Faso-Benin in West Africa, Iran in North Africa, India-Nepal-Sri Lanka in South Asia.

The global initiative is led by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in the UK.  The Alliance for Agricultural Research is  led by the Deccan Development Society in Hyderabad in partnership with the Centre for Agricultural Media, Dharwad, Institute for Cultural Research and Action (ICRA), Bangalore and Appiko Chaluvali of Sirsi.   

Restoring research to farmers

The Alliance is an effort to bring together farmers, farmers’ organisations, scientists, NGOs, academicians, researchers and the media to restore research-related activities to the farming communities.

The initiative has already been supported by personalities such as former Supreme Court chief justice M N Venkatachalaiah, H Sudarshan of Karuna Trust, winner of the Magsaysay and Right Livelihood Awards and a Upa Lok Ayukta of Karnataka, Gopal Kadekudi, eminent development economist and formerly director of Institute for Social and Economic Research, Dwarakinath, formerly chairman of Karnataka Agricultural Commission and Vice Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, K R Venugopal, IAS, formerly advisor to the Prime Minister and Devanoor Mahadeva, eminent Kannada writer and Dalit activist  The Alliance has been able to bring together farmers’ juries, farmer-scientist interfaces, media and policy dialogues and share new research findings at the South Asian level.

Workings of the jury

A 15-member steering committee consisting of representatives of farmers’ organisations, consumers’ organisations, civil society organisations, academics and scientists was formed after having civil society dialogues in Dharwad and Bangalore.  
The selection of jury members has been completed.  There were 500 nominations sent by nearly 100 members. Students of School of Social Sciences –Roshani Nilaya, Mangalore travelled in 25 districts of Karnataka and met all of them.

Based on the report given by the students, 30 members have been selected as jury members from 25 districts of Karnataka, out of which 15 of them are women.  The jury will listen, question and seek clarifications on the presentations made by specialist witnesses and deliver their verdict in a public meeting on December 5.  

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