The Beej Bachao Andolan, or Save the Seeds movement began in the late 1980s as a group of activists from the Henwal River Valley in Tehri district (Uttarakhand, India), led by Vijay Jardhari, drew links between the erosion of agricultural biodiversity and rural livelihoods, and sought to preserve the people’s cultural and scientific patrimony, as well as fight back against agrarian policies that favour corporate agribusiness at the expense of small farmers.
Many of our members such as Dhoom Singh Negi and Sudesha Devi are veterans of various social and environmental movements of the region including Chipko, the Anti-Liquor movement, and the anti-Mining struggles. Sadly, one of the BBA’s most esteemed veterans, Kunwar Prasoon passed away in 2006, yet we continue to draw strength from his example.
This site was created to provide an outlet for the movement to connect with friends and comrades throughout the world, as well as a place to collate all the many articles written about BBA over the last two decades. This is especially necessary now, as the Henwal Valley faces renewed threats in the form of mining while nationally, farmers face their most severe crisis with the looming intrusion of multinationals and genetically modified organisms into India.
– September 2007
Beej Bachao Andolan activists have resolved to undertake the following:
- Value Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom that ensures sustained survival and well being of agriculture and people.
- Practice Principles of Traditional Agriculture that maintain a balance between man, animal, plant, water, air and earth.
- Preserve the Sociology of Traditional Agriculture that enables self-sufficiency, yet also inter-dependence within society, lending collective support to individual efforts.
- Conserve Forests that provide food and fuel to the people, fodder to the cattle, fertilizer to the fields, and water to the springs and rivulets.
- Conserve Biodiversity which cuts risks, enhances food security and promotes a healthy variety to life.
- Prevent the Poisoning of the Earth, its denizens and life-support systems, from the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture.
- Help People Wrest Control over natural resources for their common good.
- Demand Legal Farmer Status for Women, the true keepers of holistic, sustainable agriculture.
- Seek Recognition for small farmers in their capacity as providers to the nation.
- Seek Scientist Status for Farmers who have tried, tested, improved upon and sustained the various facets of a healthy, sustainable agriculture through the history.
- Seek Direct Representation of Farmers in policy decision making.