Climate summits limited to just coffee and snacks

Climate summits limited to just coffee and snacks

November 16, 2022

Agricultural activist Sridhar Radhakrishnan says none of the summit resolutions are implemented

Mysore/Mysuru: Governments must encourage new innovations in the farming sector like drones and new emerging technologies but at the same time, they should implement farmer-friendly programmes according to climatic conditions. Such policies must enable good yields and the vagaries of weather must not affect them drastically, said Sridhar Radhakrishnan, National Convenor of ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable Holistic Agriculture), a national-level network of farmers involved in agro-ecology.

He was speaking at the valedictory of the three-day 5th Kisan Swaraj Sammelan that was organised by ASHA in association with the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) at the KSOU premises from Nov. 11. Farmers, growers and seed conservationists from all over India participated in the Sammelan that concluded last Sunday. The event was a congregation of one of the largest gatherings of agro-ecology practitioners and advocates.

Sridhar Radhakrishnan, involved in activities related to environmental health and justice, regretted that most of the climate change conferences and meetings both at national and international levels were limited to having coffee and snacks.

“Nothing concrete is coming out of such conclaves and the lives of farmers have come to a standstill. None of the decisions or resolutions taken at such conferences are implemented and are soon forgotten after the meet ends and ideas are exchanged,” he said.

Corporate interest

There have been many conferences in the past regarding climate change, global warming, unseasonal rains and the likes. If one sees the outcome of such conferences, it is zero. “Take for example, the COP27 Summit at Egypt. No Government will implement the decisions taken at the conference. They come, meet and go. After returning to their countries, the leaders function according to what is dictated by corporate companies and multinational companies that have huge financial stakes,” he added.

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On the conservation of seeds, Sridhar said, “Seeds belong to the farmers and seed sovereignty is an integral part of food sovereignty. Each individual needs to take responsibility for saving seeds. We should not cede control of seeds to corporations but should be able to freely grow, exchange and multiply them. Adopting the path of sovereign ecological agriculture was a solution to multiple problems the farmers are dealing with.”

GM crops

Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar Anil Hegde said that during earlier days when the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha was the most powerful in the 90s under the leadership of Prof. M.D. Nanjundaswamy, active and vigorous protests were launched against the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that covers international trade in goods as it favoured only corporate companies where the interests of farmers are sacrificed. “Now sadly the situation is that no farmer organisation is opposing Genetically Modified (GM) crops that threatens to uproot the very foundation of agriculture,” he said.

Sammelan organisers Usha Soolapani, Karthik Gunashekar, National Convener Kapil Shah, KSOU Finance Officer Khader Pasha, activists Ashlesha Khadse and Sanjeev Kulkarni were present.


  • Some of the resolutions passed at the Sammelan are
  • To organise protests against hegemony of corporate companies that influence government decisions affecting farmers.
  • Environmental-friendly agriculture must be practised and the technology supporting such practices must be supported.
  • Increased freedom, sovereignty and autonomy must be accorded to the farming community.
  • Any farmers’ policy must have their approval.
  • Women farmers must be given the rights over the land. Legal help must be extended.
  • Only genuine farmers must get land and sale of agricultural land for commercial purposes must be stopped.
  • Minimum support price and crop loss compensation must be continued.
  • Farmer suicide must be prevented and agricultural diversity must be encouraged.
  • Monopoly of seeds must not be granted to corporates and multinational conglomerates.
  • Genetically modified crops must be discouraged and none of the hybrid products must be encouraged.
  • Localised and strong farming must be practised.
  • Food security must be ensured to one and all and the rural-urban divide must be cemented.

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