ECOART (Ekalavya Centre for Organic Agriculture, Research and Training)
“Seeing is Believing”
The Indian farmers are risk averse in adopting new agricultural practices. Ekalavya Foundation believes unless the farmer sees through his own eyes and experiences about the sustainability and benefits of these practices he is reluctant to adopt them. In this regard, ECOART was envisaged one stop centre to cater to their needs through demonstration plots and providing first hand experiences in organic farming.
The centre was envisaged as one of its kind to promote research in sustainable agriculture practices, knowledge dissemination to farmers through farm visits, demonstration farms and providing specific, tailor made courses to develop agricultural entrepreneurs in organic farming.
It has launched two years diploma course in organic farming for the young men (min entry qualification of 10th class) from the academic year 2015-16. 75% of the course time is on practical, hands-on–practices, internships with farmers and documentation of their learning and remaining 25% involves conventional learning. The training encompasses subjects like agronomy, physiology, entomology, pathology, soil science, vegetable cultivation, water management, horticulture, manufacturing organic fertilizers etc.
The outgoing students will convert their own land into organic production centres or can seek formal employment in govt or other private corporates, farmer cooperatives who promote organic farming.
The academy is presently being run in a makeshift facility in Bharath Institutions at Ibrahimpatnam, Ranga Reddy district. The academy would be shifted to our demonstration farm in Gingurthy once the facility is ready and operational.
The foundation is also planning to develop this area as agro tourist spot where people from nearby cities could visit during weekends. Through such arrangement the city people will get an opportunity to experience and appreciate rural life styles, know about organic farming and thus increase their emotional bonding with farmers.