Declaration of MAKAAM’s National Convention of Women Farmers
19 March 2016
In this National Convention of Women Farmers held in Bapatla, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, women farmers from 18 states of India do hereby adopt and declare the following to Recognise, Empower and Support women farmers:
Recognizing that in India, a majority of female workforce is concentrated in agriculture and more women-days go into every acre of land cultivated than man-days, across crops and regions;
We resolve to collectively produce sufficient grains and pulses for our own needs first and address demands and within our households and communities and create and secure sustainable livelihoods. We resolve to resist development that is based on unsustainable use of natural resources and denies us the right to secure livelihoods and accesss to our natural resources. We reaffirm our right to the use of commons
We resolve to challenge and resist violence of all forms against women farmers in the fields, forests, in households and work place, and to secure and strengthen our autonomy in all spheres.
Recognising that without addressing women farmers’ issues, agricultural growth, livelihood security or food security cannot be sustained; we call upon the State
1) To restructure its policies around basic livelihood resources and their use to ensure that rural women’s livelihoods are comprehensively ensured so that food security, income security, social protection (including healthcare, insurance, childcare services and pension) as well as bodily integrity are all protected
2) State should prioritise rain-fed agriculture, where small and marginal women farmers are involved, to promote food crops to ensure food security and climate change mitigation and adaptation
3) State should prioritise land rights for Dalit landless, single, tribal, and differently-abled women in the distribution of public lands
4) Recognising that joint titles do not necessarily empower women, state should promote independent land rights for women
5) Recognising that fragmentation of land is cited as an excuse to deny independent right to women, women should be given fair share in the income from such land to secure their rights
6) We recognize that women are the primary users and protectors of the common lands, and demand that their rights and entitlements therein should be protected
7) State should ensure that in land distribution policies, the parcel of land distributed is viable in terms of size, type of land as well as land development investments for women farmers
8) Recognize and record women farmers who are tenants and sharecroppers, and ensure access to various entitlements as cultivators; and also ensure rehabilitation in the case of state displacement of tenant/share cropper farmers
9) Recognize single women farmers as a significant category that should receive priority attention for access to knowledge, schemes and support services
10) Women farmers whose husbands have committed suicides should be supported to take up sustainable agriculture practices and for their children’s education. Their inheritance rights should be secured.
11) State should ensure and improve access to schemes, programmes and entitlements for all women farmers.
12) Promote and support diversity-based ecological agriculture based on women’s traditional knowledge and post- modern technologies, since it allows more autonomy for women in farming, is sustainable, addresses food and nutrition security, protects the environment from adverse effects of chemical farming, and also reduces risks related to climate change.
13) Include modules on women farmers and women’s land rights in the training of agriculture officers and extension personnel and revenue officials respectively
14) Appoint women extension officers /Mahila Kisan Mitra within the agriculture extension system, who can promote kitchen gardens and herbal/traditional medicines along with other services for farm women.
15) Ensure representation of women in equal numbers in councils and committees at village/block and district levels for implementation of schemes such as ATMA and for implementation of FRA, commons governance, etc.
16) Review customary laws and ensure gender justice in their implementation
17) We demand that the government enact a women farmers entitlement statute to legally protect the rights of women farmers
18) Data systems need to be strengthened, including cultivation records to reflect women as cultivators and producers
19) Policymakers, planners and programme implementers should be informed of the need for specific focus on the issues of vulnerable women groups such as single women farmers and women farmers in fragile hill terrains in semi arid and dryland regions, and women farmers with disabilities
20) The state must sensitise administration and functionaries to promote ecological agriculture and women’s land and livelihood rights.
21 ) State should develop a commons policy framework with gender and equity focus
22) State should implement the Forest Right Act (FRA) and the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act before any change or diversion in the status of commons. Any diversion of lands from commons should be considered only after livelihood needs of commons-dependent groups are taken into account.
23) Companies should be charged with the task of ensuring that environmental damage is not caused by their activities, and they should be penalised for contamination of commons, including water commons.
24) Recognizing ambiguities about departmental jurisdictions when nomadic pastoralists cross borders and closure or blockade of their grazing lands and travel routes without their knowledge, we demand that nomadic pastoralists and other traditional grazers, especially women, should not be prevented or obstructed from such grazing practices and departments concerned should take all steps to ensure the samet .
25) Collectivize small and marginal farmers and support their institutional development for marketing to realise better prices
26) Strengthen land literacy, marketing and value addition training for women farmers
27) Enhance access to credit and working capital for women farmers and their collectives; provide infrastructure support, water, electricity, Kisan Credit Card, etc.to make farming viable.
28) We demand the universalization and effective implementation of maternity entitlements for all women farmers, the provision of nine months wage compensation and assurance of access to free and quality public health care
We, as MAKAAM, will extend our outreach to increased numbers of women farmers to strengthen our voices to achieve our rights
We will focus to organise informal sector rural women workers, farmers and commons-dependent communities to access resources to improve our livelihoods.
We will build our grassroots organizations to support each other and strengthen Gram Sabhas to access our entitlements.
LOGISTICS RELATED INFORMATION FOR THE PARTICIPANTS OF MAHILA KISAN SAMMELAN (8/3/2016):
This Logistics Note is to explain a few things so that your preparation for participation in the Convention, and your arrival and stay during the Convention are all comfortable, without any major hitches.
By now, you would have booked your tickets to reach Bapatla, either directly or via Vijayawada or Guntur, which are the nearest big cities.
Bapatla is a coastal town, and will be pretty humid during the Convention period. Temperatures are expected to touch 36O-38O Centigrade during the day, and will be around 24-26 degrees in the night. You do not have to carry warm clothing etc. since it will be quite warm.
BEFORE YOU SET OFF ON YOUR JOURNEY:
TWO REQUESTS, PLEASE!
We would like to request all participants or teams of participants to please bring two things with them:
The name of your organization painted in your local language preferably on a colorful sari or piece of cloth that is representative of your region, ideally. That will make the entire Convention campus colorful and pretty, adding to our festive spirit, we feel.
Mind you, we are not looking for flex banners and we are actually attempting our best to make this convention a plastic-free and if possible, litter-free event!
Please bring a fistful of whatever you grow if you are a farmer, so that the same can be displayed in the Convention. We are sure we will end up collecting quite a diversity of produce that is coming from women farmers all over India and that will be a symbol of what women farmers’ enormous and invaluable contribution to the country is!
HOPE YOU WILL OBLIGE US ON BOTH and ADD TO THE FESTIVE SPIRIT OF THE CONVENTION.
LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS: We request each state team to start identifying their translators from hindi or English to local language and vice versa from within the team from now itself. The more the number of designated translators, the greater the ability to participate for our women farmer leaders, and hope you will help us with some prior planning in this respect. This is very critical and your cooperation is sought on this, please.
ONCE YOU REACH BAPATLA:
Help Desks in Railway and Bus Stations: There will be Help Desks set up by the Organisers in a prominent manner at both the Bapatla Railway Station and Bus Stop. The venue of the Convention, which is the Bapatla Agriculture College (part of the Acharya N G Ranga Agriculture University or ANGRAU) is just one kilometer from these two locations.
However, accommodation for all the delegates has been arranged in different locations of the town and most of you would first like to go to your accommodation locations, we are sure!
Accommodation Information: Details about accommodation would be sent to all delegates beforehand by emails and mobile SMS/text messages. In case you don’t get them by the 13th of March, please don’t forget to call us up at 08880067772 or 08452868412 or 9910205264 or 09490119242. We will be able to let you know where your accommodation is.
Volunteers at the Help Desks in the Railway and Bus Stations will also have full information on each delegate’s accommodation location, in case you land up in Bapatla without such prior information. Not to worry, you will get directed to the right place!
Accommodation Type: Accommodation for most delegates is on a simple, shared basis, including dormitory-style with a few locations having floor level bedding. If you want to carry your own clean sheets, please do so. You are also requested to bring your own towels, soaps and other personal toiletries.
Pickup from Vijayawada or Guntur or Bapatla Railway/Bus Stations: If you can give us accurate details about the timing of your arrival into any of these places including the train details if possible (and not just date of arrival), the organisers are attempting to ensure that most delegates can be picked up from their point of alighting and taken to their respective accommodation locations. Kindly do so immediately so that you do not have to deal with any problems related to finding local conveyance in a small town like Bapatla, and having to deal with language problems. This is all the more important in case you arrive at a late hour in the day. We would like to support the safe and comfortable conveyance of all delegates to their respective accommodation locations when they arrive here, and this would be possible if you can support us with prior information about exact timings of arrival and departure.
Going back and forth between the Accommodation Location and the Convention Venue: Buses have been arranged by the Department of Agriculture, Government of AP, to make sure that all delegates from different locations reach the Convention Venue in time for morning breakfast, and the day’s proceedings. We request you to cooperate and assist in this arrangement by making sure that you and your team get ready on time, and are able to board the buses that will bring you to the venue location. Similarly, buses will be used to drop you to your respective rooms/dorms after dinner each day.
Medical Needs: A First Aid kit will be arranged, and a Medical Help kiosk will be set up at the Convention in a prominent and accessible way. An emergency medical team will be on the standby for taking care of the delegates if any such medical need arises. However, for all your routine medication needs, we request you to make sure that you don’t forget to bring your medicines with you.
Special Access Needs: We have not received any requests for any special needs like wheelchairs etc. In case this needs to be arranged, kindly do let us know in advance.
PLASTIC FREE AND LITTER FREE EVENT: Given that we believe in ecological approaches to our farming and living in general, we decided to make this convention a plastic-free and litter-free event. Each of you will be given a steel tumbler which we hope you will carry around in your convention bag all the time with you, so that we don’t have to use paper or plastic cups. Further, organic food (mostly local cuisine) is being arranged for the delegates for all the 3 days of the convention. We request you not to bring flex banners if you can help it. If old ones are being re-used that is fine, but do not print new ones for this convention.
EXHIBITION STALLS: We still have some space to provide in the Exhibition Area if you want to bring along a poster exhibition, or some produce to display or any publications/CDs to sell or display etc. Kindly do let us know your requirements urgently, and we will cater to this on a first-come, first-served basis.
REGISTRATION FEES: If you have not managed to pay your registration contribution so far, there would be cash collection points along with the Registration Desk where you can pay the same and collect your receipts.
YOUR NAME CARDS: At the Registration Desks, you will be given name cards that you can wear, and along with it will be color-coded cards that will facilitate your participation in different parallel sessions so that your team gets exposed to the maximum number of discussion themes. This also seeks to address issues related to language translation.HELP US MAKE THIS A SPECIAL EVENT! WE LOOK FORWARD TO A VERY EXCITING 3 DAYS WITH ALL OF YOU IN BAPATLA.
MAHILA KISAN ADHIKAAR MANCH
Forum For Women Farmers' Rights
Forum For Women Farmers' Rights
10/3/2016: WE ARE FULL AND ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO ACCEPT ANY MORE REGISTRATIONS TO THIS CONVENTION. Registrations in the National Convention of Women Farmers can be viewed here: In case of any corrections to be made, please alert us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19mMSta8xAkxxdX8FN9ookowkgi9cwI3YAVhSlQ2GFJU/edit?usp=sharing
Here are some Pics from the Convention:https://picasaweb.google.com/102671618171378959654/MomentsFromMakaamMarch17192016?authuser=0&feat=directlink