“Kerala Government welcomes Kisan Swaraj Yatra into the state: Agriculture Minister reiterates the need for protecting state government’s constitutional authority over agriculture”

Delhi/Palakkad, October 30, 2010: The pan-Indian 71-day bus tour called Kisan Swaraj Yatra entered Kerala today on its 29th day to a warm welcome by the Kerala Government. Speaking on behalf of the state government of Kerala, Mr Mullakkara Ratnakaran, Minister for Agriculture, said that all the issues being raised by the Yatra are issues of concern for the state government too and that they are addressing these concerns in the state. The Minister promised to join the Yatra when it ends at Rajghat on December 11th 2010, after covering 20 states. The Yatra was welcomed by a large group of citizens in Palakkad here today, where the local MLA, Mr Diwakaran raised his concern around the disappearance of honeybees and the huge environmental imbalances that we are creating. More...


Coimbatore, October 29, 2010: Accusing the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) of taking up research that benefits only agri-business corporations in various collaborative research projects and of facilitating appropriation of farmers’ varieties, hundreds of farmers raised and donated money to the TNAU, urging it to take up research for them and not just for corporations. This was done as part of the Kisan Swaraj Yatra, which arrived in Coimbatore today, on its last day in Tamil Nadu. Farmers here also picked up the issue of land appropriation for more than 150 SEZs, road construction and airport expansion and demanded that the government of Tamil Nadu stop appropriating farmers’ resources.More...

October 29th 2010:In Coimbatore, in the city square and at Tamil Nadu Agriculture University: TNAU representative refuses to accept farmers’ contribution – “why would you not take our funds, when you accept funding from Monsanto and others”, we ask…

It was amazing – the TNAU Vice Chancellor had deputed the Controller of Examinations to meet with us in response to a letter that the South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (SICCFM) had given him some time back. Even this, after a long wait and some persuasion after the VC pulled out of the commitment made some time back to meet the Yatris and the Tamil Nadu farmer representatives. More...

October 27th 2010: Day Three Tamil Nadu, Cauvery Delta – Breakfast with the Puducherry Governor, Sirkazhi, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur and Odugunkatti

The second day in Puducherry began on a note of surprise. The yatris were invited to the Raj Nivas for breakfast with the Governor. As we left our place of stay, St.Francis, Xavier church, Uppalam, the bus drove down the beach road paying witness to morning walkers and several young school children with their bags packed dressed in browns and blues. The welcoming French town off the road with its simple ambience soon opened its way into a poised new location where the Raj Nivas stood. More...

October 26th 2010: Yatra enters the state of Pondicherry & urges the CM to declare a GM-Free state; Interacts with farmers and consumers of Tiruvannamalai who resolve to save farmers’ resources

After an evening meeting with Chennai’ites the earlier day and a sumptuous millets-based dinner the earlier night, we started early on October 26th to reach Tiruvannamalai by 11 am for an interactive session with scores of farmers. For the first time in this Yatra, an overwhelming majority of farmers in any meeting said that they would like to continue in farming. More...

October 25th 2010: We reach Chennai just on time, after setting off in Bangalore at 6 am

We set off for Chennai early this morning at 6 am. Though there were no breakdowns of the bus (thankfully! For now, the replaced tyres seem to be holding up), progress was very slow. For one thing, we did not get to pay the road taxes as soon as we entered Tamil Nadu on the Hosur Road. By now, it looks like these RTO checkposts at the border are designed to be invisible so that vehicles that go in unawares could be caught later and penalized. More...

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