Navdanya means “nine seeds” (symbolizing protection of biological and cultural diversity) and also the “new gift” (for seed as commons, based on the right to save and share seeds In today’s context of biological and ecological destruction, seed savers are the true givers of seed. This gift or “dana” of Navadhanyas (nine seeds) is the ultimate gift – it is a gift of life, of heritage and continuity. Conserving seed is conserving biodiversity, conserving knowledge of the seed and its utilization, conserving culture, conserving sustainability.
Navdanya is a network of seed keepers and organic producers spread across 16 states in India.
Navdanya has helped set up 65 community seed banks across the country, trained over 5,00,000 farmers in seed sovereignty, food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture over the past two decades, and helped setup the largest direct marketing, fair trade organic network in the country.
Navdanya has also set up a learning center, Bija Vidyapeeth (School of the Seed) on its biodiversity conservation and organic farm in Doon Valley, Uttarakhand, North India.
Navdanya is actively involved in the rejuvenation of indigenous knowledge and culture. It has created awareness on the hazards of genetic engineering, defended people’s knowledge from biopiracy and food rights in the face of globalisation and climate change.
Navdanya is a women centred movement for the protection of biological and cultural diversity.
Navdanya started as a program of the Research Foundation for science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE), a participatory research initiative founded by world-renowned scientist and environmentalist Dr. Vandana Shiva, to provide direction and support to environmental activism.
Navdanya welcomes interns from across India and around the world to join the movement for ecological agriculture, food sovereignty, and living democracy. Interns garner skills and wisdom for building a sustainable future while sharing knowledge from their own communities and backgrounds. Navdanya’s work spans the gamut from grassroots organizing to international policy analysis. Interns thus gain exposure to many different levels of environmental advocacy––from making compost to preparing field reports to attending international conferences.