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Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture

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About This Organization

Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture
Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) is an alliance of about 400 organizations from more than 20 states in India that came together through the Kisan Swaraj Yatra.

On the Lokashakti Network since:
Wednesday, 05 December 2012

Year founded: 2010

Alternately / formerly known as:
ASHA

Location:
A-124/6 Katwaria Sarai
1st Floor
New Delhi, Delhi National Capital Territory 110016
India

Contact: Nishank Vijay Pratap

Phone: 6566-3958

Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture on:

Type of network resource:
  • Activist Organization

Issues addressed:
  • Poverty / Hunger
  • Sustainable Agriculture

Further classification:
  • Network / Collective

Description

Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture
Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture or ASHA is an alliance of about 400 diverse organizations drawn from more than twenty states across India that came together through the Kisan Swaraj Yatra (Oct-Dec 2010), a nation-wide mobilization around Food-Farmers-Freedom.

About the Kisan Swaraj Yatra:

The Kisan Swaraj Yatra taken up by ASHA was driven by a collective realization that the pr
evailing agricultural model and policies have resulted in an enormous crisis of many dimensions – soils are depleted of fertility and life itself; health is deeply affected due to poisoning of water and food; farmers are in deep distress, caught in a cycle of high risk and debt; distress migration is resulting in huge exploited population in urban areas. There is a sense of urgency that we need a whole revamp of our approach to agriculture.

The Yatra was also driven by a sense of hope that many elements of a new paradigm for Indian agriculture have already been demonstrated, even on a large scale. India can and should chart a new course for building a pro-farmer, ecologically sustainable agricultural economy that will keep our rural economy thriving and the urban areas manageable even as we as a country are able to feed ourselves with adequate, safe, nutritious and diverse foods. The nationwide outreach and mobilisation effort resulted in the creation of the Kisan Swaraj Neeti as the guiding and overarching framework for ASHA's work.

Why was ASHA created....:

ASHA was created in May 2010, as a response to the felt need amongst many civil society organisations that as a Nation, we are not doing enough to address the issues of rural livelihoods, food and seed sovereignty and security and thereby, sustainable development. ASHA believes that the problems of cultivators in India today are the entire Nation's problems and cannot be neglected - unless we ensure dignified lives and livelihoods for our cultivators (apart from the moral imperative of taking care of those who feed us all and keep us alive, our anna daatas), the other edifices being built on other fronts - either by the State or civil society - like employment generation, food and nutrition security, self-governance, better healthcare etc., cannot be strong or complete or sustainable.

ASHA seeks to draw the attention of the nation towards the continuing agrarian crisis in India, where adequate attention is not being paid to reviving the farm-based rural economy and livelihoods, even as the current state of degradation of natural resources threatens farm livelihoods further. We believe urgent and immediate action is required on this front, which also includes the need to ward off corporate takeover of Indian food and farming systems and consequent displacement of our rural populace. We believe that this can be done by joining hands and through out collective strength.

ASHA stands for:

ASHA has been created as a broad based, inclusive, democratic platform for all individuals and organisations committed to promoting sustainable agriculture in the country, in pursuit of poverty reduction, sustainable development, diversity, plurality and justice. We believe in collective leadership and democratic functioning.

ASHA works for:

Through grassroots work, trainings, campaigns and policy advocacy, ASHA seeks to promote practices and policies that make Indian agriculture ecologically sustainable, ensure dignified livelihoods to its farmers including the small and marginal, preserve their control over agricultural resources like seed, land and water, and ensure adequate, safe food to all citizens. These form the four pillars of Kisan Swaraj Policy.

ASHA's advocacy efforts in particular centre around securing an assured income for all farm households in the country; promoting and scaling up ecological farming around the country through appropriate policies, legal/regulatory frameworks and programmes; ensuring that rights of farming communities over their productive resources like land, water and seed are not denied or violated; and through the above, assuring that all Indians have access to adequate, safe, nutritious and diverse foods.

ASHA consists of:

The network consists of farmers’ organizations, consumer groups, women’s organizations, environmental organizations, organic farmers’ cooperatives, individual scientists, social activists, doctors, health activists, journalists, artists and others. It has been consciously decided to keep the network informal and loose and most of the work in the network is driven by thematic working groups on areas of importance and concern. In addition to Conveners of the Working Groups, ASHA has a National Convener, supported by two co-conveners. ASHA's National Secretariat is located in Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), New Delhi, managed by a Secretariat Coordinator. For its financial resources, ASHA as a network depends on both foreign and Indian donors while individual members of ASHA tap into various sources of support available to them.

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