Chhattisgarh: Farmers' battle for seed rights

Anon Anon inprekorr at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 21 21:15:29 MDT 2003


Frontline (India)
Volume 20 - Issue 15, July 19 - August 01, 2003

GENETIC RESOURCES

Farmers' battle for seed rights

ASHA KRISHNAKUMAR

A struggle by farmers in Chhattisgarh to protect
indigenous seed varieties from being appropriated by
multinational corporations is snowballing into a major
movement in the State.

THOUSANDS of people - farmers, landless labourers,
women, youth and children - from Sakri, Cheeka,
Baronda, Dehrva, Mandir, Hasod, Abhanpur, Pateva,
Kahira, Jamgaon and 50 other villages of Chhattisgarh
are now engaged in a massive show of solidarity to
assert their rights over the 22,972 varieties of paddy
seeds evolved over generations and kept in the safe
custody of the Raipur-based Indira Gandhi Krishi
Vishwavidyalaya (IGKV). These people have been
fighting for the past eight months to protect their
crop seeds, which represent not just their
livelihoods, but a way of life preserved over several
generations.

This struggle, called the Chhattisgarh Seed
Satyagraha, was organised under the auspices of the
Chhattisgarh Mukthi Morcha and 10 grassroots
organisations (the Chhattisgarh Kisan Panchayat, the
Chhattisgarh Mahila Jagriti Sangathan, the
Chhattisgarh Bal Shramik Sangathan, the Indian Social
Action Forum, the Chhattisgarh Labour Institute, the
Ekta Parishad, the Multi Niketan, the Sabla Dal,
Richharia Campaign and the Nadi Ghati Morcha) in
December 2002, to stop Syngenta, the Switzerland-based
multinational corporation (MNC), from entering into an
agreement with the IGKV to take over all the paddy
varieties in the custody of the university. They are
continuing their fight as their "problems are far from
over" even though the MNC has withdrawn from the deal
(Frontline, January 31, 2003).

full text at:
http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2015/stories/20030801000808000.htm



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