Annadana is working to conserve India’s rich and diverse seed heritage. Our efforts focus on assisting farmers across the country to adopt sustainable, chemical-free agricultural practices.
Annadana Projects was founded informally in Auroville in 2001 by like minded individuals with technical support from Kokopelli, an International Seed Savers Network based in France. The mission was to promote the conservation, production, multiplication and exchange of organic seeds of traditional heirloom vegetable varieties, few cereals and flowers.
A solar operated Seed Bank was created to conserve traditional and locally adapted varieties replicable in the farmer’s fields. This served farmers in tropical zones in South India.
Over the next few years, Annadana worked in different agro-climatic conditions in South India to conserve native seeds of temperate and tropical zones. In 2007 Annadana was formally registered as a Non-Profit trust in Bangalore. Due to erratic climate conditions, Annadana Projects in Auroville closed operations in 2010.
Subsequently, farming operations were shifted to Bangalore since Sangita Sharma, the founding trustee and a self contained organic farmer, had a base at Ishana Farms, Bangalore. Bangalore being a large metro with strong links globally also allowed easier networking and exchange of ideas and resources compared to towns like Kodaikanal and Auroville.
A decade of efforts was consolidated at ‘Ishana Farms’ a 5 acre certified Agro Ecology knowledge farm with Sangita steering the operations. Each season between 55-60 heritage vegetables varieties are conserved in over 400 raised beds dedicated solely for seed conservation.
Currently, a team of 18 farmers and 5 specialists are engaged in continuous research and development of best farming practices through an integrated sustainable, environmentally-safe economic approach.
Since its inception, Annadana has been actively engaged in safeguarding the interest of marginal farmers. Today it has come to be recognised as a dynamic, experiential centre for promoting sustainable biodiversity as an alternative to modern corrosive agricultural methods of cultivation.
Annadana aspires to build an Experiential Center for Learning & Education that will serve as a Knowledge Hub to promote Sustainable Agricultural Practices.