The MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)
organised the 6th Convention of the Grameen Gyan Abhiyan (Mission 2007: Every Village a Knowledge Centre)
at the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) at Pusa Road, New Delhi. This year the focal theme of the convention was: “Rural Knowledge Revolution for Agrarian Prosperity and Sustainable Livelihood Security”. The convention was divided into plenary sessions and parallel group discussions.
The inaugural session commenced with a welcome address by Dr. Parida, Executive Director, MSSRF. Welcoming the GGA partners to the 6th Convention of the GGA, he called for further growth of its partnership by exploring and identifying new institutions and organisations to partner with. He was followed by Dr. Basheerhamad Shadrach, Senior Programme Officer, International Development Research Centre, Regional Office for South Asia and China, New Delhi. Dr. Shadrach has a long association with the GGA and he has actually seen it growing from the idea stage to its actual implementation on the ground. While sharing a retrospect on the GGA, he considered knowledge connectivity and linkages and the capacity building of the grassroots workers as the key to the success of this movement.
The next speaker was Ashis Sanyal who talked about content development and delivering appropriate services through the Common Service Centres, the Indian Government's flagship telecentre programme. These two areas remain challenging for the programme as a whole. After him, Ms Mihoko Tamamura, Country Director, UN-World Food Programme shared her views on GGA or the Rural Knowledge Movement in the context of the Millenium Development Goals or the MDGs. According to her, knowledge management is crucial for reaching the MDGs.
Dr. Hari Shankar Gupta, Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) shed light on the importance of agriculture for a country like India and the challenges that the farmers are facing due to emerging phenomenon like climate change and a host of other problems. The session ended with Presidential address by Prof. Swaminathan and the release of a photo book on GGA and the GGA Partners' Directory. The photo book on GGA traces its history through photos interspersed with anecdotes contributed by Dr. Shadrach. In his address, Prof Swaminathan reiterated the need for knowledge connectivity across rural India to help the farming and other farm based and allied communities.