Annadana began in 2001, their main objective has been to safeguard the interest of Indian farmers by promoting the use of traditional agricultural methods that are efficient and innovative. This was to empower the farmers towards self-sufficiency. In Annadana they create awareness on indigenous seed varieties which breaks the farmers dependency on hybrid or genetically modified seed stock. They own two agro-ecology farms in Bangalore and in Sharavathi Wildlife sanctuary in the Western Ghats. They mainly focus on 3 main core areas that are farmers welfare, seed conservation, training and sustainability. Annadana ‘s work has also helped post tsunami and agricultural relief to create seed banks and to training farmers and horticulturalists in Bhutan. Annadana is steered by a corporate flyer Sangita Sharma. As a campaigner Annadana had proudly played a significant role in bringing about India ‘s 2009 prohibition on genetically modified seeds.
It is a unique insulated seed bank which conserves over 500 variety of seed, a self-contained farm from fruits and vegetables to milk and dairy products. They produce their own bio chemicals, bio pest repellents and biogas and plant boosters. They use various methods to harvest like extraction- wet and dry seeds, shade drying, identification of healthy plants and fruits and harvest the seeds at the right season and time. They follow rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation and so on. They also create awareness on the genetically modified seeds and the future difficulties after consuming those vegetables and fruits on regular basis. Annadana also runs its own campaign ‘MyRighttoSafeFood’.
For over a decade Annadana has been researching and documenting their journey on sustainable organic farming along side seed conservation through seed banks. Annadana helps farmers by giving them knowledge teaching them on seed conservation and organic farming. How it can be done in small space of land to large areas in a whole. Farmers teach farmers. They have their own publications. Based in Southern India Annadana ‘s mission is to sow seeds of sustainable thinking and seeds of hope for farmers all over the world.
S. Varunika Rajan
II HESP M