Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Buchman, Initiator of IofC said "There is enough for everyone's need but not for everyone's greed, if we shared enough and cared enough everyone would have enough" Welcoming the delegates on behalf of Asia Plateau the director Dr.Ravindra Rao said, IofC inspires people to "Care enough and Share enough"

Big number of International & Domestic Farmers gathered to start a dialogue on various issues faced in agriculture today. Six wicks were lit to signify 6 different issues in present situation.

Special Guest of Honor were Mr.& Mrs.Rajendra Pawar from baramati. Mr.Pawar who is President of the Agricultural Development Trust, Shardanagar, offered a brief background of how when he returned as an agriculture graduate from michigan state university, he worked under hot sun, in the farms, went on to become sugar factory industrialist and chairman of the agricultural development trust. The institution now has tie ups with a university in netherlands and is doing a lot of research, out-reach and training work in the baramati region. He has studied the entire spectrum of farming techniques and approaches right from natural farming to genetic modification technologies.He says that in the times of food scarcity, to feed a huge population of 1.3 billion people, we need to be cautious of switching entirely to organic foods. He invited farmers from this dialogue to visit baramati and see first-hand the experiments taking place in the fields. 

Mrs. Sunanda Pawar who is Trustee of Sharadabai Pawar College of Education for Women, Shardanagar shared about her work as an educationist at sharadanagar and how they have always prioritized rural women's education as a way to empower them and offer them opportunities in life. She also spoke about how the Bhimthadi fair has become a success over past 8 years. It offers platform for rural women to sell their products to urban consumer in the city of pune. It not only earns them income, but also self-respect and many skills and opportunities to step out of their home. She concluded by inviting all the international guests at the farmers' dialogue to visit the Bhimthadi fair in Pune. 

All delegates met in six different small groups to discuss variou topics like :

1.Declining number of young farmers

2.Unfair Prices for true ecological cost and efforts

3.Land and Environmental Degradation

4.Lack of women voice in agricultural decision making

5.Brutal hardships faced by woman farmers

6.Commercialization and changing relationship with the land