Monday, August 17, 2015

Call for Participation in International Agroecology Training at Amritha Bhoomi (India) October 28-Nov 5

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Call for participation:
International Farmers’ Agroecology Training
Amritha Bhoomi International Center for Sustainable Development (Karnataka, India)[1]

Dear friends in struggle,

Amritha Bhoomi is the Via Campesina Agroecology School in the South Asian region, located in Chamrajanagar, Karnataka, India. October 28-November 5 will be our first international farmers’ agroecology training. We cordially invite members of LVC movements who are agroecological farmers or trainers at agroecological schools to join us in sharing experiences and articulating the political formation of agroecology. Karnataka State Farmers Association co-founder Professor Nanjundaswamy created Amritha Bhoomi as a model of constructive work towards food and seed sovereignty. To carry out his vision, Amritha Bhoomi is developing a seed bank, local medicinal plants reserve, agroecological model plots and different methods of agroecological farming.

The program
·      October 28th – Seminar on farmers movements in India and history of farmers’ struggle for international participants (Bangalore)
·      October 29th – Field Visit to Agroecological Farm using Zero-Budget Natural Farming for international participants (Mysore)
·      October 30th – November 3rd – Intro to Zero Budget Natural Farming w/ Subash Palekar
·      November 4th and 5th – Parallel meetings of the LVC International Agroecology Collective and the Karnataka ZBNF Trainers Collective

About Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)
ZBNF is a method developed and formalized by farmer-scientist Subash Palekar of Maharashtra, India. It addresses the social, economic and environmental crises brought by Green Revolution technology, straying from mainstream organic farming by requiring no external inputs beyond what is found on the farm already and from one native cow. The mainstay of ZBNF is “Jeeva Amrutha,” a microbial culture to increase the soil fertility. Palekar has trained tens of thousands of farmers in India, resulting in a movement in many states. Through the LVC network the method has also spread to Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Purpose of this training
This training is the first large-scale ZBNF training to be held at Amritha Bhoomi Agroecology School. Several hundred farmers from across Karnataka are likely to attend, both new and long-time natural farmers. We are also extending the invitation to farmers from South Asia and inviting those from outside the region as well.  In addition to the standard 5-day training, in this meeting we will strategically launch collective processes on agroecology at the local level and at the international level.

Information for international guests about Amritha Bhoomi
Amritha Bhoomi is located 5 hours from Bangalore, Karnataka in the outskirts of a small, rural village. Situated at the foothills of a mountain range and tiger reserve, the total territory is about 150 acres, including model farm plots, a training school, basic infrastructure for room and board, and a conference hall. Shared, basic accommodation and board will be provided free of cost along with food of the local diet. Electricity is limited and no shops surround the center, so participants will have to come flexible and well-prepared.

The five-day training by Palekar will be provided in Hindi medium with interpretation into English and Kannada. Based on interest we can provide other languages as well, though we should be informed well in advance and may require contribution from the guests toward the cost of interpretation. In order to organize translation and interpretation, please express interest by filling THIS FORM no later than August 30th, 2015. Funding for travel will be provided to farmers from South Asia and farmers from other regions are invited to fundraise their own tickets. Keep in mind the mid-term conference of LVC in the 2nd week of November and the possibility to combine travel.

HOW TO EXPRESS INTEREST: Please fill this form by August 30th, 2015: http://goo.gl/forms/YhRLNyGtIy