Medak-based DDS, with 10 African nations, strives for Afro-Indian Millet Alliance

The Deccan Development Society (DDS), which is working on various crop improvement programmes, has succeeded in forging alliance with several African nations for research and development of millet cultivation.

The DDS, headquartered at Pastapur in Medak district, along with 10 African nations, is actively participating for the realisation of the Afro-Indian Millet Alliance which has been under planning stage since February last year.

Food security

“Many West African nations are getting ready to pursue agricultural models designed by the DDS that encapsulate ecological farming, biodiversity, food and nutritional security, along with ecological security.

The Millet Network of India (MINI), of which the DDS is the national convenor, has foregrounded the various cultivation aspects of millets including biodiversity, ecology and farmers’ self-reliance,” said DDS Director P.V. Sateesh.

Overseas alliance

Speaking to the media at Pastapur on Tuesday, Mr. Sateesh said that last week the DDS was invited to attend to the West African Regional Assembly of the COPAGEN, a network present in nine West African countries-- Senegal, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote D’Ivore, Mali, Benin, Niger, Guinea, Guinea Bissau--, is engaged with millions of West African farmers.

“We are very happy to see that the research on Bt Cotton pursued by the DDS in Adilabad, Nalgonda and Warangal is being followed to find out the impact of Bt cotton in Burkina Faso, a West African country. Following in the footsteps of the DDS, the farmers there have formed community research groups and are regularly monitoring and colleting data on the cultivation aspects of Bt cotton,” he said.

A DDS team comprising Narsamma, a peasant farmer; Ms. Jayasri Cherukuri, Coordinator of the MINI and P.V. Satheesh, Director of the DDS, made a detailed presentation on the work done by the network here on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the DDS and the COPAGEN are also planning to organise farmer exchange programmes between the Africa and India, with a special focus on the women farmers in both the countries.