BORN OUT OF A Struggle for Seed Sovereignty

Amrita Bhoomi was conceptualized during the ‘seed satyagraha’, the Karnataka farmers’ movement(KRRS)’s fight for seed sovereignty against multinational seed companies’ attempts to impose patents on life. KRRS had a dream. It didn’t want to just keep protesting against things – injustice, bad laws, and corrupt politicians. It also wanted to create the world it wanted to see.

Professor Nanjundaswamy, the now deceased leader of KRRS who was described by The Guardian as “India’s leading advocate of farmers’ rights” put this vision into practice by launching a farmers training center in 2002, which he named – Amrita Bhoomi, the eternal earth. Prof. Nanjundaswamy conceptualised the center as a space for peasants to build models of autonomy –an alternative vision to that of green revolutions shrouding rural India. His vision was to establish a center where peasants can explore how to restructure food production based on appropriate technologies and local exchange networks. Amrita Bhoomi is a Public Charitable Trust. It was first established with the support of the Italian farmers organization – SUM

Spread over 66 acres, Amrita Bhoomi is located in the pristine Biligiri Ranga Hills, surrounded by three national parks. Elephants and wild boars are regular visitors. Along with a number of model agroecology farms, the center also houses a indigenous seed & livestock bank, a medicinal garden conserving medicinal varieties that currently face extinction. There is also an auditorium for 250 people and a training center with classrooms and dormitories. Chef Muttu, a Soliga adivasi who cooks mouthwatering meals, runs the dining hall.

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