Two Decadal celebration of Biodiversity Festival
The Two Decadal celebration of Biodiversity Festival preparations kicked off with a series of significant events. The enthusiasm and excitement for the festival by Deccan Development Society family increased double fold with the prestigious recognition of Equator Prize Award from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for their “Local, Nature Based, Sustainable solutions for Climate Change”.
The Mobile Biodiversity Festival, which is celebrated over a period of one month, demands a rigorous groundwork preparations and arrangements. To be said that to celebrate a month over Festival, the preparations had to start a month prior which includes a caravan of artistically done 20 bullock carts which were decorated with a variety of seeds, spikes, sarees and art pieces, aligning to them small earthen pots and wooden frames were decorated with different varieties of millets, all of which together form a symbol of biodiversity of the region.
With the New Year unfolding with significant landmarks (Honoured with Equator Prize), there came new responsibilities to Deccan Development Society, where it began its mission towards achieving ‘Zaheerabad Agenda’. On January 3rd, 2020, a special event was held at Deccan Development Society, Pastapur, where Sarpanches and the women farmers from five mandals – Zaheerabad, Jarasangam, Kohir, Mogudampalli and Raikode were participated. Zaheerabad Agenda, a historic document signed by 156 sarpanchesof Zaheerabad region across all political parties and other affiliations.
The main objective of the event was to endorse a new agricultural action plan for Zaheerabad region which will be able to contain the climate crisis and would provide provisions for the continuation of biodiverse agricultural practices. And it was also decided that this document will be sent to the President of India, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural development of Government of India and Government of Telangana, Chairman of NITI Aayog and Planning Commission of government of Telangana to study and take follow up action on the recommendations of the agenda.
The Mobile Biodiversity Festival of the year was flagged off on January 14th 2020, by Director General of National Institute of Rural Development, DR.W.R.Reddy. It had a galaxy of national and international biodiversity and organic agriculture experts. Leading them was Ms.Alimata Traore, an African representative of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) in Rome and also the president of a 5000 strong women
farmers organization in Mali, Ms.Fransisca, a food and agriculture scientist and a farmer in Senegal, in West Africa, Ms.Anne Berson from BEDE, a French international NGO devoted to the spread of agro biodiversity and seed sovereignty in Africa, Ms.Seetha Ananthasivan, Director at Bhoomi Network for Sustainable Living & Editor in chief, Bhoomi magazine. Marking the occasion, Potpalli Sarpanch, Dhanraj Patil handed over Zaheerabad Agenda to DR.W.R.Reddy.
This year’s biodiversity festival is a special one, where female farmers from Mali and Senegal are participated to exchange knowledge regarding the DDS sangham women agricultural practices, experiences, seeds in order to promote millet farming and to acquire food sovereignty.