Navdanya was established 30 years ago to defend our seed sovereignty and food sovereignty in the face of threats from global corporations. Two decades of neoliberal corporate global liberalisation have degraded Indian farms and foods, pushed more than 300,000 Indian farmers to suicide, flooded our markets with imports of GM soya and palm oil and inferior pulses, like yellow pea. This period has witnessed a total take over by our cotton seed sector by Monsanto which is now being tried for its monopolistic practices and unjust royalty collection by Competition Commission of India (CCI). In addition to violation of Supreme Court orders and law of the land, there have been repeated attempts to push GMO foods. A moratorium was announced on Bt. Brinjal. It took a call for explanation on the Supreme Court, a statement and outrage by people’s movements to stall the approval of GM mustard on 5th of February 2016. While the highest constitutional bodies including the Supreme Court of India and the Parliament of India are calling for a GMO ban till independent regulatory systems for Biosafety are in place, the NITI Ayog created by dismantling the erstwhile Planning Commission has also been unscientifically promoting GMO’s as the future of Indian agriculture inspite of the repeated failure of Bt cotton.
During the same period of neoliberal reform, India has emerged as the epicenter of food related diseases with over 180 million people diagnosed with cancer alone and 70 million diagnosed with diabetes. It is time for India to shape a sovereign future of food and agriculture so that our farmers do not have to commit suicide; our children do not suffer diseases of malnutrition on one hand and obesity on the other; Indians do not carry an unnecessary health burden; our seeds and biodiversity are not pirated and patented, and our soil and water systems are not degraded and made more vulnerable to climate change.
We invite you to contribute to the policy dialogue and look forward to your participation in shaping the Vision for the Future of India’s Food and Farming Systems.
Join us to celebrate 30 years in the service of the earth, our biodiversity, our farmers, our food and create a vision for a seed sovereign , food sovereign India – Anna Swaraj 2020.
India International Centre , Main Building , Conference Hall No. – II
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