Onwards to Food Sovereignty - The alternative Public Distribution System of the DDS| 14mins
Director: Community Media Trust | Producer: Community Media Trust
Focus Years: 2005 | Country: India
The film first briefly describes the social and ecological impacts of the Green Revolution in India. Green Revolution agriculture has largely bypassed the needs of rural people and their complex, risk-prone and diverse environments in the drylands of India, which represents 65% of the country’s arable land and where the majority of the poor and excluded live. India’s Public Distribution System (PDS) has made it possible to re-distribute Green Revolution rice and wheat from well-endowed areas to food deficit regions. However, the video shows how PDS cereals like rice and wheat have displaced dryland farmers from their agriculture, undermined the nutrition and food security of poorer communities, marginalized women farmers, robbed farmers of markets for their cereals (sorghum and millets), and eroded biodiversity important for food, farming and ecosystem resilience. The video highlights the outcomes of action research designed to rebuild village livelihood assets and local food sovereignty by setting up a decentralized, locally controlled and managed Public Distribution System (PDS) in a network of 77 villages in the drylands of Andhra Pradesh. This alternative PDS is known as the Community Grain Fund by villagers. It is a remarkable innovation by voluntary associations of women farmers (sanghams) in Medak District. The Community Grain Fund is based on: locally-grown dryland cereals (millets and sorghum) and the biodiversity rich farming systems of which they are a part, local storage using indigenous knowledge and technologies (with women and village level, co-ordinating activities and organizations), local distribution by women’s sanghams, who allocate food grains according to their own criteria of poverty and well-being and taking affirmative action to support the most vulnerable and hungry in their communities, local adaptive management and decentralised governance that is better suited to sustaining the dynamic and complex ecology of dryland environments. The impacts of the alternative PDS on state government thinking and policy are presented at the end of this film.
Onwards to Food Sovereignty - The alternative Public Distribution System of the DDS | 14mins
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