I have graduated in biochemistry and worked 4 years for a pharmaceutical company in Mumbai. But, my heart and mind were always with nature, environment, and wildlife. So, I had quit my job and went on to study another master in European Forestry at Mendel University, Czech Republic. I am currently engaged in the final year of my Ph.D. in ecology and wildlife conservation, studying Leopard ecology. For the past few years, I have always been thinking, about farmers and their plight in India. The conventional farming uses tremendous amounts of chemical fertilizers, and toxic, harmful pesticides and fungicides etc which are destroying water systems, ecology, environment, and health of human and animal subjects alike. This kept me thinking how to change and when to change the wrong tide and raise a new productive and conscious side. During this time of mind boggling, I have learned about organic farming, which uses biological fertilizers and pesticides that degrade the environment in a natural cycle affecting none. Learning about permaculture opened even wider doors where productive food forests (tree guilds, plant guilds, aquatic systems, and fungal systems etc) are combined along with traditional farming practices providing year round food and income security. Many more new concepts such as Vedic and bio-dynamic farming practices are also in place which helps farming communities and the natural environment alike. Even though these methods are gaining momentum, it is still not reached the majority of farmers and is blocking them from gaining food and economic security. One main gap I have noticed in the organic farming industry is the lack of collaboration of educated youth with rural farmers at many places throughout India. This is crucial as organic farmer’s needs certification which requires considerable lobbying with government officials, applications, checking’s, follow up and above all these finances are to be paid to the government or NGO’s helping the process. The organic produce also needs direct and indirect marketing to give the farmer the righteous price for his/her economic stability. Indirect marketing will be done, through social media and digital marketing platform and also by opening direct organic produce outlets in nearby town/city. Farmers need to form self-help groups and involve in community farming. Additionally, an solar powered water irrigation system is necessary for making farmers even more ecological and environment-friendly as well as less dependent on fossil fuels and paid electricity.
I have raised this pitch to provide farmers with the finances for certification, to help them build the indirect market, set up 3 kW off grid solar power plant for irrigation purpose. Farmer self-help groups will be formed with registration, giving a brand name for their organic produce with concerned body licensing and authorization for effective marketing.
Core Activities covered and will be achieved through the funds provided for the project:
1. Providing 3 Kw Solar power grid for farming purposes.
2. Marketing of Organic Products.
3. The Economic viability of Organic Farming.
4. Individual Certification and Group Certification processes.
5. Package of practices on Organic Farming.
6. Achievement Motivation.