Farmer organizations participating in MTCP2 in India met last January 29, 2014 in Guwahati, Assam (with some joining via Skype) in order to reconstitute the national programme oversight board and to include more farmer organizations and new farming sectors.
Sharda Kant from Rajasthan, Anita Parmar from Gujarat, Sevika Basumatry from Assam, Pity from Meghalaya, Maheshwari Devi and Bhaktidevi from Uttarakhand, continue to be part of the board. Each state would like to add new member to the board,e specially from the sector of animal husbandry. These names would be submitted to SEWA by January 15, 2014.
The group agreed that in including new farmer organizations in the network, only grassroots organization and not politically affiliated organization should be included.
The group noted that it is currently composed of like-minded organizations who aim to build the capacity of the small and marginal farmers and link their voices and needs to the policy makers.
They also noted that while there are many farmer organizations in the country, they mainly work with large farmers, thus it is important ensure that the ones joining the network are organizations working with small and marginal farmers.
The farmer organizations who have been part of the first phase of MTCP will suggest new farmer organizations that can join the network, while SEWA will also continue discussions with grassroots farmer organizations in the country.
All the members opined that there is a strong need to build the capacities of the farmers and raise their awareness and knowledge, thus, these should be the major focus of the network through various trainings and exposure visits.
There were also participants from Mizoram and Nagaland and the farmer organizations from Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram have already expressed their intention to join the MTCP2 network. SEWA will initiate discussions with them and would invite them to participate in the next formal meeting.
SEWA also informed the board members that SEWA is leading at the national level in family farming and that the network will work jointly in this regard.