Sunday, October 31, 2010

BKU Farmers letter to Indian Prime Minister


BKU farmers held a press conference and submitted a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the backdrop of the low suport prices for wheat and rice as well as multiple free trade agreement negotiations and the upcoming visit of President Obama to India. Below is their letter:

30th October, 2010
Shri Manmohan Singh ji
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India
New Delhi

Dear Sir,

We, the farmers of Bhartiya Kisan Union, are writing to you in the backdrop of many disturbing developments such as the near completion of negotiations on FTAs with developed economies, like Japan and the E.U.; large scale acquisitions of agricultural land by companies; increasing domination of biotech firms in the Indian agricultural system and institutions; and most importantly, UPA government poor response to the increasing hunger and malnutrition among rural community while million of tonnes of food grains are rooting in our godowns. It is a matter of great concern for us that even after 60 years of India’s independence, more than 5000 children are dying every day in our country due to malnutrition. And in 2010, India has slipped to 67th position among 84 developing countries on the global hunger index released by the International Food Policy Research Institute. Despite this, the present UPA government under your leadership is completely non-committal on feeding poor people even though 67,000 tonnes of wheat had rotted this year alone and tonnes of wheat are still rotting in the open in Punjab, while farmers are ready with their next harvest.

Do Not subsidize Poor at the Cost of Small and Marginal Farmers:
We fear that the faulty policies of the UPA government towards poor Public Distribution System (PDS) as well as ban on exports of food grains would be detrimental for the Indian farmers especially the wheat and rice growers who have been offered slight increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) even though prices of these commodities are quite high in the international market. The only excuse for the government to keep MSP low is to subsidize food for the poor at the cost of the farmers’ profit. And this is being justified on the pretext that there is lack of funds for paying higher price for procuring foodgrains which would increase cost of food for poor but the government has no shame in giving a subsidy of more than Rs.500,000 crore to corporate sector in the form of direct and indirect tax concessions, write offs etc in the 2010-11 budget alone. This kind of pro-corporate and anti-farmers policies of the Indian government are forcing farmers to quit agriculture.

We demand that government should divert the monitory benefits given to Corporates towards providing subsidized food to the poor as well as paying higher procurement price to the farmers who are struggling hard to feed the people of India despite high cost of production, high inflation and increasing food crisis. Given this, we demand that the government of India

  • Must implement Swaminathan Committee recommendations for MSP which should be at least 50% more than the weighted average cost of production.
  • Must increase the MSP for wheat to Rs.2200 per quintal because the cost of wheat production comes to around Rs.1600 per quintal. We reject the mere Rs.20 increase in the MSP for wheat for this year.
  • Must increase the MSP for Sugarcane crop to Rs.300 per quintal.
  • Immediately expedite the procurement of rice crop in Punjab and Haryana.

No to Free Trade Agreements (FTAs):
The BKU farmers are quite upset with the UPA-2 agenda for trade liberalization through speeding up of the FTA negotiations to liberalize agricultural imports to India. We fear that the 30 odd FTAs which the government of India is negotiating with the highly industrial countries like US, EU, Israel, Australia and others would provide market access to their agribusiness and their heavily subsidized agricultural commodities. This is highly detrimental to India's rural food producers and production. We are shocked that in a democracy like ours no consultations have been carried out of such FTAs and all the deals are being done behind closed doors, while our livelihoods, markets and biodiversity are being traded away. Such lack of transparency is unacceptable to us. We demand that agriculture and agricultural related activities must be kept out of any FTA negotiations India is engaging with.

No Trade/ Agricultural Ties with the U.S. during Obama’s visit:
We would also like register our strongest protest against signing of any kind of agreement during the forthcoming visit of the US President Barak Obama in India in early November. We don’t want any bilateral agreement on agriculture with the US on the line of Indo US Knowledge Initiative of Agriculture, whether in the field of trade, biotechnology or irrigation. We appeal to UPA that they do not allow any market access in agricultural trade to United States, which the latter has been aspiring to gain through failed Doha negotiations, through a bilateral Indo US trade deal.

No Acquisition of Farmers Land for Development Projects and SEZs:
We demand that the state and the Centre governments must stop all land acquisition in the name of ‘public purpose’. There must not be any forceful acquisition of farmers land and selling of the land by the government, acquired on the pretext of “public purpose”, to Corporates for any development projects or SEZ. The government must stop to act like a ‘middle man’ in acquiring farmers land for Corporates. The government must soon amend the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 in consultation with farmers and the definition of “public purpose” in the Act should be clearly defined and specified. In case land is needed for public purposes like hospital building, defence purposes; market rates should be paid to the farmers.

We demand that the proposed GAIL India pipeline project in Uttrakhand should be built alongside roads, canals and railway lines so that farmers lands are not disturbed. In case acquisition of farmers land is absolutely necessary for gas pipeline, we demand that market rates must be paid to the affected farmers.
Reduce Interest rate to 4% for all Agricultural Loans:
We would like to demand that the government, as per the recommendation of the Swaminathan Committee report of 2007, must fix a maximum interest rate of 4% on all agricultural loans. With the increasing cost of production and increasing food inflation, this would be a big relief for the Indian farmers and would help in preventing the farmers’ suicide in the country. We also like to reiterate our demand for a complete debt relief not only from institutional debt but also of private money lenders. Moreover, it is a known fact that most of the agricultural loans meant for small and marginal farmers are being diverted to big agri-corporations. We therefore demand that instead of providing credit facility to agribusiness, the UPA government bring policy to provide agricultural credit to small and marginal farmers at the nominal rate of interest.

Strengthen Extension Department of Agriculture:
We demand that given the poor state of our agriculture, the government of India must ensure increased public investment in strengthening the extension department of the Ministry of Agriculture, which was the backbone of Indian agriculture during the green revolution. The complete breakdown of the extension services of the agriculture department has resulted in farmers being completely dependent on the private agents or seed shops owner for any advice on agriculture practices.

Crop Insurance to Compensate Farmers in case of Natural Calamity:
We would like to draw your kind attention on the anomaly in the current Crop Insurance Scheme where a block or tehsil (not even a village) is considered as a unit and unless a natural calamity hit the whole block or tehsil, farmers are not compensated. We therefore demand that under the Crop Insurance Scheme, each farmer and his/her crop should be considered as a unit. In case of natural calamity like drought, floods, fire, hailstorm or frost which destroys standing crop of a farmer or groups of farmers, they must get compensation. The UPA government must also institute a policy for an Emergency Fund to compensate farmers (who don’t have crop insurance) in case of a natural calamity like drought, floods, fire, hailstorm or frost.

Medical Facilities and Insurance:
In a time of increasing liberalization and inflation, farmers are not able to cope up with the cost of living at the low income they receive. Getting access to medical services is increasingly difficult or impossible for many food producers. We demand that medical facilities and insurance are provided to farmers for free just as they are to other government servants.

Timely Provision of Fertilizers:
For the past years, farmers have not been receiving fertilizers in a timely fashion and they have to rely on the black market. We demand that fertilizer quotas and provisions are begun one month before the sowing season.

Impose Permanent Ban on GMOs:
The BKU farmers demand for a permanent ban on the research, production, and imports of all genetically modified seeds, crops and foods. Instead of promoting GMOs, we demand that the government must support ecological agriculture and provide proper incentives for growing toxic free foods through organic farming.

We also demand that all the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed by the public agricultural institutes and universities with the multinational corporations, biotech companies and agribusiness must be scrapped. Through these MoUs, the big corporations are taking over the research, knowledge and resources of our public agricultural institutions for their profit.

Signed by:

Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, State President, BKU Punjab,
Gurnam Singh, State President, BKU Haryana,
S.S. Cheema, BKU Uttrakhand,
Rakesh Tikait, BKU U.P.
Yudhvir Singh, Spokesman, BKU (+91-9868146405).

Friday, October 29, 2010

World Food Day activities in Nepal

On the occasion of 30th World Food Day (October 16, 2010) various activities were organized in Nepal.  ANPFa [All Nepal Peasants Federation] organized one week of advocacy and campaigning activities all over Nepal to publicize food and peasants’ issues. The program started on 1st October, 2010 with a meet with the Media to publicize the events. From 2nd October to 7th October various programs including talks, rallies, submission of demands, solidarity meetings were organized in almost 45 districts by Anfpa district committees all over the country. On 7th October, a Joint solidarity event and a big mass rally was organized in co-ordination with the Right To Food Network Nepal. Hundreds of participants holding placards, banners and flags called for a hunger free world on this occasion. On the Eve of 7th October, a press conference was organized concluding the programs to inform all the happening of the weeks.

The Rally in Kathmandu started from Exhibition Road and after passing through the main streets of the city ended in a short program at Martyr’s Point, Ratnapark. Besides ANPFa, Youth Peasants Federation, Women Peasants’ Association and Other Subject specific Peasants’ Association under the umbrella of ANPFa and other organizations working in the right to food sectors were the participants and co-organizers of the events. In the program ANPFa vice Chairperson and member of the International Coordinator of LVC, Ms. Shanta Manvi and General Secretary Prem Dangal, Deputy General Secretary, Balram Banskota urged the need of strong peasants movement and agrarian reform for the agriculture development of Nepal.

The program was highly successful in building Solidarity among the various organizations working in Food issues, Publicity of issues of FS and Agrarian reform and celebration of world food day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Joint Statement on WORLD FOODLESS DAY

World Food Less Day (2010)

South Indian Farmers organize for ecological farming

Below is an article published in the Hindu newspaper-

There is no alternative to organic farming: farmer

Kisan Swaraj Yatra reaches Bangalore
— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

PROGRESSIVE:Kodihalli Chandrashekar (left), president, KRRS, Kultar Singh, progressive farmer from Punjab, Kavitha Kuruganti, convener, Kisan Swaraj Yatra, in Bangalore on Sunday.
Bangalore: “Green Revolution has ruined Punjab. Our rivers are devastated and this has affected aquatic life. All these are the evil design of the perpetuators of the Green Revolution,” charged Kultar Singh, a progressive farmer from Punjab.
Addressing farmers and civil society members at the Institute of Agricultural Technologists here on Sunday, he said that Punjab was at a point of no return. “The country should learn from Punjab's mistake. Today, multi-national companies are funding research in agriculture universities. There is no option but to go organic and green,” he said.

Mr. Singh was here as part of the Kisan Swaraj Yatra, a pan-Indian bus tour by Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) for the cause of “Food, Farmers and Freedom”. The yatra that began at Sabarmati Ashram on October 2 will reach Raj Ghat, New Delhi, on December 11.

Kavitha Kuruganti of Kheti Virasat Mission said that the yatra has received tremendous response from farmers across the State. “There was a near-unanimous understanding of the corporate stranglehold over farming which is making agriculture unviable and eroding our resources,” she said.
Later, she presented data compiled from official records of the past several years of Bt cotton cultivation in Karnataka. She pointed out that Bt cotton has not lived up to its claims or promises. She said that organic farming was the only hope for the revival of agricultural sector in the country. “Organic farming can be self-reliant, environmentally-friendly and profitable. We have to bring back farmers to the sector. The people who should go out of the sector are Prime Minister and Union Agriculture Minister and multinational companies such as Monsanto,” she said.

Kodihalli Chandrashekar, president of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, said that the State Government should step up its efforts in promoting ecological farming and set an example for other States to follow. There should be greater efforts to conserve seed diversity, to build capabilities of farmer-breeders and to promote agro-diversity. He said that Bt cotton was not a success, as was being claimed. “No new cotton variety has been developed by our agriculture universities over the past decade. The farmers have no option but to cultivate Bt cotton. Our scientists should hang their heads in shame for not being able to develop a new variety,” he said. He said that MNCs were only interested in profiteering at the expense of farmers. “Earlier, farmers would exchange seeds among themselves. Today, seed business is done at an international level. One kg of tomato seeds is priced at Rs. 1 lakh, while one kg of brinjal seeds is Rs. 40,000,” he said.
He said that punishment envisaged under the Seed Bill should be made stringent and urged the State Government to take a more pro-active role in Central legislation so that farmers' interests are protected. 

Farmers from Orissa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other States interacted with farmers here. The yatra has covered Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa. It will enter Tamil Nadu on Monday. The aim of the 71-day tour is to create awareness about ill-effects of biotechnology and promote ecological farming.
© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu

Bangladeshi peasants demand land reform immediately

01.jpg25 October 2010, Bangladesh-  BKF & BKS Barisal district committee jointly organized a human chain in front of Barisal town hall to demand distribution of khas (fallow) land among the 498 landless families who live in the Rasulpur Char (small island). Rasulpur char is close to Barisal city and the 498 landless families occupied the char in 2000. They have been demanding titles to the land but have still not gotten any papers from government. 

Recently they filed a  court case against the local government which has not implemented  the government declaration to implement land reform or the Bangladesh land manual. Their struggle is ongoing as well as the court case.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sign Petition to Protect farmers’ livelihoods and resources – Support self-reliant, ecological farming

Here is a petition from the Kisan Swaraj Yatra [Farmers Sovereignty Caravan]. Agricultural problems are not just those of farmers and rural communities but of all consumers and citizens too. We urge everyone to sign this petition to rebuild India's agriculture towards a self reliant, ecological farming that brings dignity to rural communities and health to all consumers.

Can be signed at this link:-

Smt Sonia Gandhi,
Chairperson, National Advisory Council (NAC) in the PMO
and Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
Government of India, New Delhi.

Dear Smt Sonia Gandhi,

Sub: Protect farmers’ livelihoods and resources – Support self-reliant, ecological farming

We are deeply troubled that the key policy-makers in this country including the Prime Minister of India are articulating and pursuing a vision of development that has no place for farmers in the villages of India and are creating a hostile environment for farmers, forcing them to flee from farming. It is unconscionable that senior policy-makers talk about reducing the farming community to 15% of the population in a matter of years – that would mean the largest displacement ever in human history (half a billion people) mostly through distress migration and land acquisition. Obviously India needs a completely new vision.

The hostile environment for farmers is being created by grabbing the very productive resources on which millions of Indians survive whether it is land, water, forests or seed; the promotion of high-cost agriculture which is driving farmers into debt as well as damaging soil fertility and poisoning our food and water; agreements like the Indo-US Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture which seek to change the regulatory regimes in Indian agriculture in favour of American and other corporations; by policies that do not allow fair and remunerative prices to primary producers so that they earn a decent living and can employ labour at fair wages; by allowing the public sector research and extension systems subserve the interests of companies rather than farmers and many such actions and policy directions.

The Agriculture Minister in particular is seen around the country as not just incapable of evolving any sustainable solutions for farmers but actively pursuing anti-farmer policies. While he never instituted any deep investigation into farmers’ suicides or the all-pervasive agrarian distress, he has always batted for large corporations in the name of creating agri-business “opportunities”, and has refused to incorporate price control of seeds into the Seeds Act, despite the demand by all farmer organizations and even the A.P. state government. When a moratorium on Bt Brinjal was announced based on democratic consultations and scientific grounds, he called it an ad-hoc decision that would demoralize scientists – while such concern was never shown regarding the extreme demoralization of farmers. The new program of Green Revolution in Eastern India is causing great concern with the Minister’s promotion of hybrid rice in a region of great rice diversity and ignoring the large evidence of adverse impacts of such Green Revolution models.

We are driven by a sense of urgency that a whole new paradigm is required for agriculture in India. Heartening new directions have already emerged, including some successful government programs such as the CMSA program in Andhra Pradesh where lakhs of farmers are practising sustainable agriculture with zero chemical pesticides, the decentralized PDS system in Chattisgarh with procurement at farmers’ door-step and lakhs of farmers in Tripura cultivating organic paddy using SRI method.

However, the magnitude of agricultural crisis demands that the government completely re-thinks its approach to agriculture and farmers’ livelihoods. It should be driven by the realization that (a) the nation’s food security and the rural economy depend on making agriculture profitable for all farmers, (b) self-reliant, sustainable agriculture improves livelihoods as well as soil fertility and long-term productivity and development is not likely to take place by pushing farmers in distress conditions into unskilled labour, rural or urban.

We, the citizens of India, farmers and consumers who took part in and supported a nation-wide KISAN SWARAJ YATRA as an Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture, after having studied various anti-farmer measures by the Government that also jeopardize our health and environment, and with the firm belief that India can and should chart a new course for building a pro-farmer, ecologically sustainable agricultural economy that can be a model for the world, and that pursuing the corporate-dominated Western agricultural model will be a historic disaster not only for the farmers but for the rural and urban economies as a whole, present to the Government of India our Charter of Demands, which we believe should form the basis for deciding policies regarding agriculture and farmers:

1. Stop treating agricultural resources like Seed, Land and Water as commodities for the benefit of business corporations – instead, conserve them as basic livelihood resources of India’s people, which are theirs as a matter of right. No IPRs should be allowed on agricultural resources like seed, and on the knowledge belonging to farming communities. Ensure that seed diversity in farmers’ hands is protected.

2. Prevent forcible acquisition and diversion of agricultural lands, both rainfed and irrigated, to non-agricultural and non-food uses. Abolish the current Land Acquisition Act. A mandatory land audit should be undertaken every five years.

3. Promote and provide incentives to low-cost, pro-nature agricultural technologies & practices, which are also more suitable for sustainable livelihoods for small farmers, and put into place support systems for the same (incl. building farmers’ institutions), including integration of MGNREGS and other such programmes with sustainable agriculture.

4. Phase out all toxic and unsustainable technologies including chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and stop the entry of GM seeds into Indian agriculture. Free farmers from pesticide poisoning. Ensure safe and nutritious food for all without contamination by chemicals and GMOs.

5. Ensure fair and remunerative prices for all crops by recasting the MSP regime and by timely procurement and price stabilization fund; recast all food security schemes including the PDS into universal and decentralized systems of local production, procurement, storage and distribution, while including millets, pulses and oilseeds as an integral part. All of this should squarely address the issue of constant under-valuation of agricultural labour and agricultural produce over the years leading to increasing impoverishment in rural India.

6. Guarantee a minimum family income to all farming families, prioritizing dalit, tribal, women-headed, marginal and small land-holding families including tenant-farmers. Set up a statutory Farmers’ Income Commission to ensure the minimum income, by augmenting with direct income support if necessary, to make farmers’ incomes on par with incomes in the organized sector.

7. Enact and implement a (much-delayed) comprehensive social security legislation for all agricultural workers and farmers (incl. tenant farmers) to cover pensions, healthcare and accident/life insurance.

8. Cancel all government agreements with Monsanto, Syngenta and other agri-business MNCs in India (including in agricultural universities) and do not extend the Indo-US Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture.

9. Stop all international free trade agreements in agriculture, until a comprehensive review to assess the full implications for farmers is undertaken with involvement of all stakeholders.

10. Mitigate contribution by agriculture to Climate Change and help farming communities adapt to Climate Change, by promoting sustainable farming based on resilient systems and appropriate traditional knowledge; it becomes more urgent than ever to provide comprehensive crop insurance to all, with each farmer as the unit. The proposed National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture should focus on ecological farming practices along with increasing biodiversity both at the crop and farm level which will act as the best adaptation for climate change, instead of false solutions like ‘climate proof’-GM crops.

11. Build a thriving rural economy by developing extensive facilities for farmer-led agricultural processing, storage and marketing in rural areas, in ways that enhance farmer incomes.

12. Implement comprehensive support systems for rainfed and dryland agriculture by promoting appropriate cropping patterns, sustainable production methods, water management and markets for dryland crops.

13. Redirect the attention and agenda of NARS (National Agricultural Research Systems) to shift them from being the breeding ground of corporate driven, high-input intensive technologies which do not benefit the country and the farmer in the long run and re-focus on farmer-led, agro-ecological approaches that ensure sustainable food security for the country and livelihood security for the farmers. The NARS should be made accountable to this pro-farmer agenda.

We urge that you, in coordination with all concerned Ministries, address the above demands immediately in order to save the farmers of this country and to ensure sustainable food security with adequate, safe, diverse, nutritious, culturally appropriate foods for all Indians.



cc: (1) Prime Minister of India (2) President of India

Sunday, October 3, 2010

National 3 month long caravan launched in India: 2 Oct, Gujarat

Below is an article about the Kisan Swaraj Yatra [literally translated as Farmer Sovereignty Journey] taken from:

LVC farmers organizations are also part of this effort and upcoming events will be posted on this blog.

For more info on the yatra please visit:

For the route and map:

National Farmers 3 month caravan launched in India: 2 Oct

Below is an article about the Kisan Swaraj Yatra [literally translated as Farmer Sovereignty Journey] taken from:

LVC farmers organizations are also part of this effort and upcoming events will be posted on this blog. 

For more info on the yatra please visit: the route and map:

Kisan Swaraj Yatra: To Promote self reliant Farming
by Kavitha Kurugunti 

This is about Kisan Swaraj Yatra, an outreach effort from Sabarmati to Rajghat (from October 2nd to December 11th) - a call to join forces to save Indian farming and farmers, to promote self-reliant farming....

This is a bus yatra that will start at Sabarmati Ashram on Gandhi Jayanti to traverse through 20 states of
India before it reaches Rajghat on December 11th 2010, being organised under a broad informal banner called ALLIANCE FOR SUSTAINABLE & HOLISTIC AGRICULTURE (ASHA).

This Yatra is to remind all Indians of our hard-won independence and the insidious ways in which agri-business corporations and others are taking this independence and sovereignty away, especially with regard to our food and farming. This Yatra is a call for joining forces to save Indian farming and farmers mired in deep distress and to forge a sustainable path forward for Indian farming.

This is a historic juncture for the farmers in the country. There are obviously strong forces pushing farmers out of agriculture, with the vision that Indian agriculture will be more 'manageable' and 'productive' with around 15% of population engaged in farming, under the domination of corporatization, hybrid seeds and biotechnology and heavy machinery. There is also a vision driving policies that believes that pushing people out of farming and rural areas into other sectors and into cities is what constitutes development. The effects of this are already evident, with the distress migration from villages to cities, the forcible acquisition of agricultural land for industry and SEZs, and the increasing difficulty of the farmers to make ends meet where more than two lakh anna daatas were forced to commit suicide. This Yatra will seek to create a debate on this ‘developmental inevitability’ that is being pursued.

This is the time to speak more loudly than ever, about the return of the small farmer and sustainable and holistic agriculture in our national conscience. There is a growing body of research, knowledge and opinion against the diabolic fallacy of pursuing the market agenda in food and agriculture, and in favour of biodiversity-based self-reliant ecological agriculture. The IAASTD report issued in 2008, prepared over four years and based on the work and deliberation of over 800 scientists and intellectuals across the world, has pronounced that sustainable, ecological, smallholder agriculture is the only way forward, if humanity was to have any semblance of purposeful survival in future.

This is also that point of time when large scale ecological farming has re-established itself at a convincing scale in many parts of the country and yet, the State tends to discount evidence related to such a livelihoods-based approach to farming and pursues an anti-farmer agenda.

It was 80 years ago that Gandhiji led the Namak Satyagrah ( Salt March or the Dandi Yatra) to claim people’s sovereignty over their natural resources. It was hundred years ago that he extended a development model for India centred around the concept of “Hind Swaraj”. This year, on 2 October 2010, dozens of farmers’ movements and other organizations across the country will launch the “Kisan Swaraj Yatra” that will take off from the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat and traverse through 20 states to reach Rajghat (New Delhi) on 11 December. The Yatra will be flagged off by renowned natural farmer Shri Bhaskar bhai Save.

The Yatra will highlight issues such as seeds sovereignty, land grab, climate change, food sovereignty and security, GE seeds, chemical pesticides, farm produce pricing, etc. that directly and indirectly affect small farmers in addition to bringing up a debate around the proposed Green Revolution in Eastern India, the tie-ups that several governments have with MNCs like Monsanto, the continuing saga of farmers’ suicides and so on. The Yatra will also raise the concerns over free trade and bilateral agreements, the proposed food security and seeds laws, BRAI Bill, the handing over of public resources for private gains etc. The Kisan Swaraj Yatra will also draw in urban consumers into its fold and will raise issues of food safety, consumer choices etc.

The Yatra will celebrate the conservation of diversity by farmers, farmers’ knowledge and will highlight the successes of ecological farming. The participants will develop concurrent events, programmes, campaigns in accordance with the needs and priorities in their respective states.