Amritha Bhoomi

Amrita Bhoomi (meaning Eternal Earth) is a Centre for Sustainable Development and School of Agroecology founded by the Indian peasant movement KRRS in Karnataka in South India. It consists of several components that reflect our commitment to a more prosperous, equitable and ecological future. These components revolve around the training and promotion of agro-ecology and natural agriculture, renewable energy, green building, and economic diversification based on small cottage industries, as well as education, combating child labor, inequality and discrimination, and the creation of cooperatives and direct links between producers and consumers. All of these components are oriented towards greater self-reliance and capacity for collective action of the peasant communities. Local communities want to be provided with educational tools through this project so they can rebuild their independence and dignity. Within Amrita Bhoomi we work towards the eradication of poverty through the collective construction of ecological and equitable local economies that protect them from the ravages of the market global.

The project is a response to the disastrous crisis facing the rural economy in India, reflected in the rising tide of suicides among rural families drowning in debt (according to the latest government data, more than 200,000 peasants committed suicide between 1993 and 2013 because of their indebtedness, and that figure reflects only officially documented cases and does not include suicide attempts), and mass migration to urban slums in cities. In this context, Amrita Bhoomi contributes to the reconstruction of food sovereignty and agricultural and livestock biodiversity, sustainable self-management of natural resources, universal access to education and to strengthen local economies that allow the permanence of farmer communities in their territory and give them a positive outlook for the future.

The residential Training Center on Life Cycles and the School of Agroecology have already been built, including the housing for the staff working permanently in the center, and a Livestock Bank. After a first experiment on a small plot, this year, agroecological farming will be implemented through a Model Farm on 20 hectares.

For the next few years, the equipping of the Seed Bank, the Reserve of Medicinal Plants, more housing for staff working permanently in the center, and a nursery (for the staff and children of those receiving training), Center for Economic Diversification, and an alternative school called Green School are planned. The Center aims to operate at full capacity and become economically self-sufficient.

The Center is an essential part of the long-term strategy of the movement of farmers in the state of Karnataka and its youth wing the Green Brigade. The patronage of the Amrita Bhoomi Foundation includes representatives of other movements Indian farmers who are enacting a close monitoring of the project in order to replicate it in other regions. Beyond India, various organizations of La Via Campesina (in which KRRS played and continues to play a central role) continue the project with great interest, because they want to carry out projects with similar approaches in their countries. 

Amrita Bhoomi is the seat of the first School of Agroecology of La Via Campesina in South Asia.