By Indra Shekhar Singh, 16 September 2016


On Thursday, Navdanya began the annual A-Z Agro-ecology course at the Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation farm in the Doon Valley. Over 30 participant from five continents are attending this course that is focus at teaching organic farming, with special emphasis on seed saving, agro-ecological methods of farming & sustainability.

Being the 30th anniversary year for Navdanya, it is a very special year for this course. Many esteemed faculty are coming to the farm to make this course more diverse and memorable. Navdanya is having Dr Eric Serralini, the world’s leading scientist on GMO and GMO biosafety, who will be teaching the participants about the real biosafety concerns of GMO. Other faculty include Dr Vandana Shiva, eminent environmental and director of Navdanya. Av Singh, who is a Organic & Rural Infrastructure Specialist with Perennia in Nova Scotia, working predominantly with organic and small-scale farmers on issues of production, processing, and marketing of agricultural goods and services, Marilyn McHugh and Chris Kennedy are a Biologist and Teacher, husband and wife team who founded The Hummingbird Project, a non-profit organization that works for social justice through ecological regeneration and community empowerment, Andre Leu is an organic farmer, the author of The Myths of Safe Pesticides and the President of IFOAM – Organics International are the other notable faculty this year.

Other esteemed individual who will at the course include chef Jérôme Douzelet, Maya Goburdhun, Dr Mira Shiva and Narsanna Koppula.

With participants from Japan to the US, this month course is not only familiarising participants with traditional agricultural practises, but offers classes on biodynamic agriculture, permaculture, and urban gardening. A participant form US said: “I am very excited for this course. I have travelled all the way from the Us to learn about sustainability and organic farming. It is only in places such as Navdanya, that we can find such diversity both in the fields and in the faculty.”

The participants are also getting hand-on experience on the organic farms as they are helping in daily harvest and farm activities. Then the Bijaks, (participants) through the gift of labour Shramdhan, work in the kitchen and get to help out in the preparation of the Indian food.
Flamina Bhavina, from Italy said, “The best part about Navdanya is the meeting the people here. I am already very happy to finally be a part of the the Bijak community. Plus the organic food here, the Jhangora kheer, is delicious!”

Dr Shiva speaking at the farm, “Today, we are on the brink of the a climate disaster. The rampant abuse our environment led by the fossil fuel corporations has pushed small farmers, indigenous communities and more so ever now, consumer into a crisis. The farmers are committing suicide in hundreds thousands, while the indigenous are being robbed of their lands and knowledge, while the consumer are experiencing a a massive health epidemic.
We at Navdanya Bijavidyapeeth, help people learn about organic farming as a way to heal their soils, revive the knowledge of their ancestors and free themselves of a corporate driven exploitive food system.”

More information

a-z Poster rev1-page-001

A-Z of Agroecology & Organic Food Systems 2016

Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation farm, Dehradun, India, 15 September – 15 October 2016

2015 Highlights:

2014 Highlights:

Seed Thoughts from Navdanya

My story and my Navdanya inspired farm, by Isaac Pabia — Ghana