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Jurors
Oversight Panel
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Jurors

In preparation for the Prajateerpu hearings, a team of participatory development and communication researchers from the Department of Communication at the University of Hyderabad, India, were chosen to conduct the recruitment of the jurors. The team interviewed a range of rural people who they contacted using a snowballing technique, beginning with names of people that were suggested by workers in a wide range of community groups across the state, based on these selection criteria:

  • small or marginal farmers living near or below the poverty line;

  • open-minded, with no close connection to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or political parties;

  • likely to be articulate in discussions.

Researchers were careful not to pick community workers themselves, but rather use the workers as informants in the snowballing process. Working through these groups gave the researchers a means of accurately identifying small and marginal farmers, which would not have been possible using available official information sources, such as electoral rolls.

Having collected a list of names and addresses, the team then travelled to the villages where these farmers lived and conducted detailed interviews. In selecting the jurors, the researchers laid particular emphasis on recruiting dalit, adivasi and women farmers. In addition, one urban juror was recruited to give the perspective of someone who was a consumer of farm produce but not earning a living from the land. While they could obviously not be expected to represent the full range of views of citizens with non-agriculturally related livelihoods, it was clear that the deliberations would be enriched by participants being able to take on board her concerns and knowledge.

Unlike processes in which organizers can undertake extended interactions with participants that often lead to longer-term mobilizations, Prajateerpu only asked for a relatively short-term commitment from jurors. We therefore wished to respect the privacy of the jurors and the confidentiality of the information we made public, and identified them only by their first name and Andhra Pradesh District.

Photo Gallery of Jurors >>
Family & Farming Backgrounds of Jurors >>

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Jurors
Oversight Panel
Witnesses & Scenarios
Facilitators

Oversight Panel

The jury / scenario workshop process was overseen by a group of external observers

or stakeholders, who formed the oversight panel. The role of the panel, which had been approached by different co-inquirers over the preceding months, was to monitor and evaluate the fairness and credibility of the entire process. The inclusion of observers with a diverse range of interests was an important way of ensuring that the methodology was trustworthy and not captured by a group with a particular perspective or vested interest. In this context, the concept of stakeholder was widened to include those who are 'stake-less', having been marginalized by prevailing socio-economic forces. This was based on the co-ordinating team's belief that only if there was a balance on the panel between those whose human rights were at risk and those with power, would the process be both fair and seen to be fair.

Two members of the oversight panel critically reviewed the scripts of the videos to ensure that each food and farming future was presented in a fair and unprejudiced way. All panel members were involved in the critical evaluation of the jury process and its deliberations. As a stakeholder / observer panel the composition was carefully balanced using guidelines from previous exercises to include a broad range of interests and perspectives without anyone of them dominating. The panel was not pushed artificially into being so broad-based as to include, and potentially be disrupted by, individuals opposed to democratic accountability of governments and corporations.

The oversight panel assessed the degree of fairness, competence & credibility of the citizens jury process. The panel members were:

Justice P.B. Sawant
Chairman Press Council of India
(former chief justice at the Supreme Court of India)
Faridkot House
New Delhi
India

Paul ter Weel
First SecretaryAdvisor Development & Environment
DGIS
The Netherlands Embassy
New Delhi
India

Savitri Girijan Deepika (NGO)
East Godavari District
Andhra Pradesh
India

Y. Divanjulu Naidu
Coordinator of AME (Agriculture Man and Ecology)
Andhra Pradesh
India

Sandeep Chachra
Regional DirectorActionAid India
Hyderabad
India

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Jurors
Oversight Panel
Witnesses & Scenarios
Facilitators

Witnesses & Scenarios

The jurors were presented with three different scenarios or visions of the future. Each was presented using a 30-minute video and by a number of witnesses - key opinion-formers who explained the logic behind the scenario.

Vision 1: Vision 2020. This scenario has been put forward by Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister and backed by a loan from the World Bank. It proposes to consolidate small farms and rapidly increase mechanisation and modernisation. Production-enhancing technologies such as genetic engineering and information technology will be introduced in farming and food processing. A significant reduction in the number of people on the land is anticipated by 2020, from 70 to 40 per cent (a potential displacement of 25 to 30 million people). The UK’s Department for International Development provides direct budgetary support to the GoAP for reforms needed to implement Vision 2020.

Vision 2: An export-based cash crop model of organic production. This vision of the future is based on proposals from IFOAM and the International Trade Centre (UNCTAD / WTO) for environmentally friendly farming linked to national and international markets. This vision is also increasingly driven by the demand of supermarkets in the North who want a cheap supply of organic produce and to comply with new eco-labelling standards.

Vision 3: Localised food systems. A future scenario based on increased self-reliance for rural communities, low external input agriculture, the re-localisation of food production, markets and local economies, and with long-distance trade only in goods that are surplus to production or not produced locally.

A crucial part of the scenario workshop / citizens jury depended on identifying individuals willing and able to defend a particular vision of food and farming futures in Andhra Pradesh. The invited specialist witnesses all had a proven track record of engagement with the issues to be discussed and were broadly representative of government, industry and civil society. Each specialist witness agreed to address the jurors directly and also be open to cross examination. This element of the process has been compared to the widespread Indian process of Jan Sunwai (“people’s hearings”) or the indigenous community forums known as “goti” that are practised in the Eastern Ghats region of Andhra Pradesh.

The names and affiliations of individuals who gave specialist evidence at the citizen jury on food and farming futures for Andhra Pradesh are:

Mr. K. Akbal Rao
Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Director of Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh

Professor M.V. Rao
Former Vice Chancellor of Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, Hyderabad, India. Senior Advisor to the Government of Andhra Pradesh on biotechnology and agricultural policy.

P. Chengal Reddy
President Andhra Pradesh Federation of Farmers Associations, Andhra Pradesh, India

Dr. K.P.C. Rao
Principal Scientist, Economic Planning, National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad, India

Dr. Alexander Daniels
General Secretary IFOAM-Asia

Dr. Shivram Krishna
Cultural Anthropologist working with Tribal Peoples in Andhra Pradesh, India

Dr. Sagari Ramdas
Specialist in livestock issues, Director, Anthra, Hyderabad, India

Dr. Partha Dasgupta
SYNGENTA Seeds Asia-Pacific

Dr. Debashis Banerji
Former Head and Professor Botany and Molecular Biology, CCS University, Meerut, India.

Michael Hart
President of the Small and Family Farm Alliance, UK

Colin Hines
Associate, International Forum on Globalisation, UK

Dr. T.N. Prakash
Professor of Agriculture and Coordinator, Agro Biodiversity Group of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), India.

K. Srinivas
Political Economist and Journalist, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Jurors
Oversight Panel
Witnesses & Scenarios
Facilitators

Facilitators

The selection criteria for the facilitators particularly stressed good local language and communication skills. Participants came from all over the state, but they all had the Telegu language in common. Other important criteria included a working knowledge of rural conditions and livelihoods throughout Andhra Pradesh, an ability to help people with contrasting backgrounds and life experiences to work together, experience in village-level facilitation and conflict resolution, and representation of key sectors (government, academia and civil society). One male and two female facilitators were sought in order to reflect the gender composition of the citizens' jury, which was biased in favour of women. The facilitators were:

  • Sudha Goparaju, Programme Support Team, Rural Livelihoods Programme, Government of Andhra Pradesh, India

  • Kavitha Kuruganti, Programmes Division, ActionAid India

  • Dr Vinod Pavarala, Communication Programme, University of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Telegu Video Clips Audio Clips Pictures