2-part Webinar (Jul 11&14 2020) on ‘Why Government’s Proposal to Ban 27 Pesticides is a Welcome Development’.

Topics and speaker profiles for Part 1 of Webinar on 11th July 2020 (Saturday) 4pm –

Shri Devinder Sharma – Introductory Remarks
Dr. D. Narasimha Reddy – Why Ban on Pesticides
Shri Amit Khurana – Pesticide Management for Safe Food and Health
Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu – Successful & Safe Alternatives in Farming

Devinder Sharma is a distinguished food and trade policy analyst, writer, thinker, and researcher well-known and respected for his views on food and trade policy. Trained as an agricultural scientist (he holds a Master’s in Plant Breeding & Genetics), after many years of active journalism, he focuses on policy issues concerning sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and intellectual property rights, environment and development, food security and poverty, biotechnology and hunger, and the implications of the free trade paradigm for developing countries.

Dr. D. Narasimha Reddy is associated with Pesticide Action Network-India, he has been a passionate campaigner on environmental and development issues. He was a Board member of IFOAM-Asia, Member of a Cotton Advisory Board Committee and Advisory Council of Textile Exchange (a global non-profit). He has contributed to public discourse and policy changes in electricity, seed, rice, cotton, sugarcane, sericulture, handloom and textiles, land, water and other related areas. An intense team player, he has built campaigns, advocacy programmes and policy change projects. He is an author, writing on different subjects in regional, national and international publications. He also guides students on their Ph.D and other research activities.

Amit Khurana is the Director of Centre for Science & Environment (CSE)’s programme on food safety and toxins. Along with his team, he works towards necessary policies to contain anti-microbial resistance from animal and environmental routes, marketing of junk foods and pesticide use in crops.

Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu (Ramoo) obtained his Ph.D. in Agricultural Extension from the Indian Agricultural Research Institution in New Delhi. After working as an Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) scientist for a few years, he has been the Executive Director of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in Secunderabad since 2003. The Centre works with communities and with various partners, in the states of AP, Telangana, Maharashtra and Punjab and with the governments of A.P., Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Jharkand to help farmers establish ecologically and economically sustainable models of agriculture and organize themselves to improve their livelihoods and realize their rights.

The webinar will also go live on ASHA youtube and facebook channels too. Exact links to be shared later as well.


Registration for Part 2 of the webinar on 14th July 2020 4pm can be done here –

Speakers and topics for Part 2 of the webinar are –

Sridhar Radhakrishnan – Pesticide Regulation & Community Response
Yudhvir Singh – Farmer Unions’ Perspective
Ananthasayanan – Consumer Groups’ Perspective
Kavitha Kuruganti – Critical Scrutiny of industry’s arguments

Sridhar Radhakrishnan: He is an Engineer by education and Environmentalist by passion & practice. His broad interest is Environmental Health and Justice. His main areas of work are Sustainable Agriculture & Food Sovereignty, Environmental Policy & Advocacy, and Ecosystems & Land Use Policy.  Presently he functions as Coordinator (Policy & Campaign) of the Save our Rice Campaign. He is Director in Thanal, a well known environmental organisation in Kerala. He is also a Director in Thirunelly Agri Producer Company, a Farmer Producer Organisation, based in Wayanad, other than being a Steering Group member of ASHA. He authored two books related to environment and resource use. He also co-authored in the publication ‘A Green Print for Sustainable Kerala – Lessons for Existence’. He lives in a mud and bamboo (COSTFORD) home with his wife, Sobha and son, Ambareesh at Karakulam, a panchayath in the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram city.

Yudhvir Singh: He is a well-known farmers’ leader based out of Delhi. He has been associated with various struggles pertaining to improvement of farm livelihoods from 1978 onwards and is part of Bhartiya Kisan Union. After his land in Delhi has been acquired, he continues farming in Rajasthan. Spread over nearly 40 years, his struggles have spanned issues like Fair and Remunerative Prices for Farm Produce, Chemical-free Farming, Land Acquisition, Free Trade including World Trade Organisation, Family Farming, Income Guarantee for Farm Households and GMO-free India at the all-India level. Yudhvir Singh is the Member Secretary of Indian Coordination Committee for Farmers’ Movements (ICCFM) which he founded along with others in 2000 in Hyderabad. Prominent and strong farmer unions from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi are part of this formation which represents lakhs of farmers across these states.

Ananthasayanan (Ananthoo): Engineer turned safe food activist. Works with farmers as well as consumers, to create urban markets that bring safe food from primary producers to urban consumers. Actively works on awareness building with urban consumers regarding farmers’ issues, sustainable agriculture and safe food through Safe Food Alliance. Runs social enterprises that find win-win solutions for farmers and consumers.

Kavitha Kuruganti: She is a social activist working in the field of farmers’ rights and sustainable farm livelihoods for 27 years now. She has served as a Member in Government of India’s Task Force on Organic and Non-Chemical Farming, in addition to other such roles. She is the lead petitioner in a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court of India on the issue of bannable pesticides. She is one of the national convenors of ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture), and is also associated with other national networks like MAKAAM (Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch).


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