The day after being honoured with Nari Shakti Puraskar in New Delhi, the members of Millet Network of India spoke on how they managed to achieve success in the face of daunting odds.
“We grow millets like jowar, sorghum, bajra etc as they do not require too much water or fertilisers or pesticides. We use traditional knowledge to grow them. I have 30 varieties of seeds and I don’t have to buy anything from the market,” said Chandramma of Bidakannya village.
Using permaculture, crop spacing and other traditional knowledge systems, the members managed to win accolades for their work. On International Women’s Day, one of the members of the society, Moghulamma, received the Nari Puraskar Award on behalf of MNI in New Delhi from President Ram Nath Kovind. “The seed market is skewed in favour of big farmers. There is a subsidy for using fertilisers and pesticides, but the small and marginal farmers don’t get any help,” said P.V. Satheesh of MNI.