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REDS (Rural Environment and Development Society)

REDS is a non-profit NGO active in Ananthapuramu in Andhra Pradesh. It is active across 58 villages, and its work focuses primarily on agriculture and natural resource management, women’s rights and human trafficking education. One of its main initiatives – Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) – operate under the logic of collectivising farmers (particularly women farmers) to work together to pursue diverse farming practices which can help mitigate the impacts of the droughts common to this area. REDS has also carried out considerable relief work during the pandemic to help alleviate the distress caused to small-hold farmers and migrant workers by lockdowns and pandemic-related unemployment.

The collective efforts of the women, both in farming and marketing, has allowed them to build food and seed reserves, thereby moving towards food sovereignty and demonstrating the effectiveness of collectivisation. This has the additional benefit of allowing the surplus seeds to be distributed across the community to those in need. The distribution of seeds has bolstered seed security and provided a livelihood to the suppliers. The potential of FPOs has now even been recognised by the government, who have arranged to purchase produce from FPOs.

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