Hyderabad: To understand the millet farming techniques done by the nation, around 14 women from smallholder farmers from Mali, Senegal West Africa visited the Deccan Development Society over the last two weeks. The primacy of women in these systems have decided to explore the formation of ‘Millet Sisters International,’ a collaboration between All India Millet Sisters (AIMS) Organization, Confederation of Rural Women Farmers for Food Sovereignty (COFERSA), Mali and Association for Women Farmworkers (BARAGNINI), Senegal. Representing the interest and concerns of over half a million women farmers across the Indian landscape and from over seven West Africans nations, the new networks will see the coming together of the previous national network.
Speaking on the occasion, C Jayasri, co-director, Deccan Development Society (DDS), India, said, “the women farmers from West Africa visited the farms and fields of smallholders, primarily the dalit women farmers of the DDS. They also took part in the mobile biodiversity festivals of the DDS and studied the varied ways of processing and value addition to millets through preparation of the new recipes and ready to cook items.”
She further said, “During these two weeks of the tour, the women from West Africa displayed their millet crops and later we showed them the farming process done by the women at the DDS. These women have learned about how we grow the millets crop.” The joint declaration of both the regions recognizes the commonalities between the women farmers such as their commitment to ecological agriculture, millet farming, biodiversity and also pointed out the threats faced especially by the peasant farmers in both the regions.