Challenging accepted norms
The research and development initiatives of the Green Revolution brought to the world, and particularly to India, a new, hybrid variety of seeds with the aim of increasing yields and reducing the food deficit of the country. They also introduced a chemical intensive form of agriculture highly dependant on external inputs that many farmers in India could ill afford. ‘Two decades of subsidizing agriculture with chemicals has impoverished the farmer and degraded the natural resources and diversity of food without reaching the goal of feeding the hungry.’
— Hidden Harvests, GREEN Foundation
Seeking legislative support
Lasting change can only be brought about through legislation that supports and protects the rights of individual farmers and strengthens their livelihoods. Such legislation must also aim to conserve the biodiversity and natural ecology that is essential to Indian agriculture. Yet over the years, Govt. policies have promoted the use of high yielding exotic seed varieties and the chemical inputs they require. Unfortunately, this has lead farmers to adopt unsustainable practices.
Fostering public awareness at a grassroots level has been essential in propelling the movement forward. GREEN initiates programs such as seed fares and yatras, which have proved a useful means of disseminating our core philosophy. Seminars and workshops on Government policy are held regularly held to sensitize farmers on issues directly concerning them.
We have also sought to increase general public awareness through radio programs, articles and regular columns in leading native-language newspapers. We recognize and encourage efforts of individual farmers who steadfastly uphold sustainable agricultural practices. ‘Beeje Maate’ Award was instituted for those farmers who have made outstanding contributions to seed conservation. Read more about our farmers.
“We want to spread the message of organic agriculture far and wide. When people visit us, we always give them gifts of seeds so that they can carry the concept of organic farming into more and more areas.”
– Puttaveera a farmer of Veeraiandoddi village in Karnataka.
Dissemination of our message through publications has also helped strengthen the movement. Through innovative methodologies such as participatory rural appraisals we have also aimed to preserve and document the vast indigenous knowledge of the state of Karnataka.