KRRS was originally formed to address the problems faced by farmers. We strongly believe that the basic unit of an organisation is the village unit. We therefore emphasise that villagers should decide their own forms of organisation and finances, as well as their programs and actions. Today, KRRS is the largest farmers’ union in India.
Broadly speaking, KRRS is a Gandhian movement. This means that the final objective of our work is the realisation of the ’Village Republic’, a form of social, political and economic organization based on direct democracy, on economic and political autonomy and self-reliance, on the participation of all members of the community in decision-making about the common affairs that affect them, and on the creation of mechanisms of representation that ensure that affairs affecting several communities are decided upon through processes of consultation involving all stakeholders. KRRS is also continuously mobilising for the formation of women’s constituencies.
Bidar and Millets
Bidar has long been the home of millets, offering nutritious food to the population of the district and improving soil health for farmers. Unfortunately, with the introduction of cheap rice in the Public Distribution System (PDS) and unfair advantages offered to rice farmers, millets have lost their place in farming and in the food system of the Bidar population. Millets were long ignored in India’s PDS system, despite the fact that until a couple of decades ago, millets formed more than 40% of the national food grain production of the country. Since 2011 the KRRS-Bidar and MINI support local jowar farmers, especially working on creating a good market price for their produce. In pursuance of this, the KRRS – Bidar did a farmer to farmer survey in the Thana Kusnoor Hobli of Aurad Taluk and contacted over 1300 farmers who together own 4100 acres of land, and who were ready to supply nearly 22000 quintals of jowar to the consumers of the Hobli. This completely matches the original objective of KRRS – Bidar; that the local food requirements of people can be met through local production. This action provides ready markets to local farmers, limits long distance transportation of grains and helping people reach nutritious and secure access to food.
Since the acknowledgment of millets in the National Food Security Act passed by the Indian Parliament in 2013, the Karnataka Government has strongly pushed for implementation of the bill in Karnataka. The National Food Security Act was successfully implemented by the Government of Karnataka in the summer of 2015. The progressive involvement of KRRS, MINI and the NGO Pipal Tree in this crucial process towards food sovereignty, has been highly empowering for the farmers in the region