The Kisan Swaraj Yatra, a nationwide mobilization to raise awareness of issues relating to our FOOD, FARMERS, and FREEDOM, was organized in 2010 by ASHA, a broad, informal network of more than 400 organizations drawn from 20 states of India. The network is made up of farmers’ organizations, consumer groups, women’s organizations, environmental organizations, individual citizens, and experts who are dedicated to the cause of sustainable and viable farm livelihoods in rural India, including by ensuring that productive resources are under the control of farming communities and, consequently, safe, nutritious, diverse, and enough food for all Indians.
ASHA articulates a 4-pillared Kisan Swaraj Neeti and urges governments to embrace it based on conversations that occurred during the Kisan Swaraj Yatra and subsequent work. This policy articulation offers India a framework for a futuristic agriculture policy strategy. The four pillars of Kisan Swaraj are (1) financial stability for farming households; (2) ecological sustainability of agriculture; (3) people’s control over agricultural resources including land, water, and seed; and (4) access to safe, healthy, nourishing, and enough food for everyone.
The work of ASHA has centered around (1) establishing alternatives to conventional farming, constructing associated capacities, exploring market opportunities for organic produce, and advocating for the replication of large-scale support for ecological farming are the main objectives of ASHA’s activities.
(2) to promote large-scale scaling up of the activities, including through consumer knowledge and empowerment, to assure seed diversity resurrection, secure seed self-reliance, and achieve these goals.
(3) keeping an eye out for any harmful or unsustainable approaches in the BGREI (Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India) initiative of the Indian government, such as corporatization of seed supplies, chemicalization of eastern Indian agriculture, intensification of water consumption, etc.
(4) arguing persuasively for farm households to be guaranteed minimal living wages and working to make this happen,(5) recognizing and promoting a different approach to Adivasi agriculture and food security; (6) using India For Safe Food platform to advocate against harmful agri-chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. Working together with other organizations that have similar goals has been a recent endeavor to safeguard women’s rights and visibility as farmers.