Basudha

Explore the Link between Biological and Cultural Diversity

Basudha (= ‘Earth Mother’ in Bengali) is a 2.3 acre farmland, on rent in a tribal village, surrounded by forests and hills in Bissam Cuttack block, Rayagada district of southern Odisha. A farm house is being built, to accommodate visiting activists, research students and farmers.

Watch a short video of Basudha’s work, by filmmaker and photographer Jason Taylor.

Basudha farm was established in early 2001 in Bankura district of West Bengal as the field station of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, shifted to Rayagada district, Odisha in 2010, and registered as a trust body. Basudha aims to conserve India’s vanishing rice varieties; encourage, demonstrate and support organic farming and traditional methods of multiple cropping; research in the human ecology of uncultivated foods from the wild; research and document ecoforestry practices; and preserve and develop local knowledge of biodiversity and its uses. Basudha is a partner of the nationwide anti-WTO movement, and locally engaged in non-formal education and heuristic science teaching for the rural youth. Basudha also gives practical training in ecological agriculture.

Manuring NOTE: Basudha’s conservation activities have now been shifted to Rayagada district of southern Odisha [detail here]. While there is no farm experiments or conservation activity currently underway in West Bengal, Basudha’s adobe farm house and arboretum in Bengal are still open for visitors. If you are willing to book your accommodation at the old Basudha premises, please contact Mr. Debashis Chatterjee at his cell: (+91) 9830057531 and email: debindia@vsnl.net

Every year, scientists, research scholars, students, activists and farmers from different parts of the world visit Basudha – to teach, learn from, and share ideas with, Basudha workers and farmers in the surrounding villages. WWOOFers find Basudha to be a favourite farm to stay and work in. The new Basudha campus in Odisha is now open for WWOOFers and volunteers. The Annual Basudha Festival, held in Winter every year, is a special event in which students, environmentalists, artists and conservationists from different parts of the world come to participate.

Front ViewArtworkLiz

The new Basudha farmhouse is an example of ecological architecture with (almost) zero-ecological footprint – with adobe, mud, lime, sand and stones. The structure involves several arches, domes and Nubian vaults – all made of adobe and mud. The farmhouse needs volunteers to complete the building process.

Click here to watch Jason’s new video on conservation work at new Basudha in Odisha.

Nubian vault Seed Vault

N.B. Basudha’s work does not receive financial support from any funding agency – whether governmental or non-governmental. All activities are fuelled by the Trustees’ personal donations, and those from friends. We are thus constrained to impose a modest charge on guests for their stay at Basudha. The tariff per capita per diem, is as follows:

  • INR 100 for WWOOFers
  • INR 300 for course students & researchers
  • INR 500 for tourists and others
  • INR 50 (around Euro 1) less for Repeat Visitors.

The fees are for accommodation and simple vegetarian meals, with rice as staple. Anything extra (e.g. bread/ beverages/ meat) will be at cost.

The trustees have the right to waive charges or to refuse to host any visitor.

 

View from SouthBasudha Fest

Location

 

The old Basudha farmhouse is located at Binodbati mouza, P.O. Layekbandh of Bankura district (23˚12′ 25.6″ N, 87˚16′ 54.3″ E). Nearest railway stations: Bishnupur (22 km) and Durgapur (41 km).View Satellite image of BASUDHA on googlemap

The new Basudha farm is located in a remote tribal village of Rayagada district. For security reasons, the exact location is disclosed only to WWOOFers and genuine research students upon inquiry.

Basudha does not encourage pleasure trips by urban joy-seekers or picnickers, but is open only to WWOOFers, research students, and activists who are willing to participate and assist in our activities.

Please contact us for road map and directions.

Last Updated (Sunday, 18 August 2013 14:32)

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Basudha’s Lab Opened for Conservation

August 26, 2014August 26, 2014
Basudha's Biotechnology Laboratory for Conservation opened in Kolkata on 12 August 2014. The lab is sponsored by Siddha Community Foundation, is established with the explicit aim to promoting conservation of the country's biological heritage. This lab is engaged in molecular biological study of folk rice varieties, and tissue culture of critically endangered plants, to promote their conservation for the benefit of the local communities. This is the only lab in the country where scientists do not receive any salary/ emoluments. This is also the country's only biotechnology lab that runs on donations from individual friends and a non-profit foundation, and is entirely aimed at biodiversity conservation. Read report in Times of India (New Delhi/Kolkata) 13 August.   [Download pdf] 

Deb’s Interview in Agriculture Today

June 21, 2014June 21, 2014
Agriculture Today June 2014 carries Deb’s interview on agriculture policy of India:
 

GM-Free India holds Anti-GMO conference at Ludhiana

June 21, 2014

GM-Free India held an anti-GMO conference in Ludhiana. Dr. Vandana Shiva of RFSTE, Dr. Debal Deb of BASUDHA and Rajesh of GM-Free India spoke on diverse aspects of GMO in agriculture.

Deb talks at Patiala Engineering University

June 21, 2014
Deb gave an invited talk on Uncertainties & Imprecisions in Genetic Engineering at University College of Engineering, Patiala. The talk was delivered before the faculty and researchers of the university.

National Seed Savers’ Meet held in New Delhi

June 21, 2014
National Seed Savers' Meet was organized by ASHA in New Delhi on March 7 and 8. Seed savers discussed on the documentation and IPR issue of folk crop varieties.