Indian agriculture combines a diverse range of traditional and modern farming practices. India ranks among the top three global producers of various crops, including wheat, rice, pulses, cotton, peanuts, fruits, and vegetables. While modern techniques are prevalent, traditional methods like the use of cattle for plowing persist in certain regions of the country.
Ekalavya Foundation wants to enhance the scale and scope of its major initiative, Organic Agriculture extension Project, for promotion of organic farming in a big way in Adilabad district of Telangana. The grand vision unfolds to address the multiple issues pertaining to natural resources conservation, production of healthy food, and improving farmers’ income. CGI India has provided financial assistance for the project.
The main objective of the project is to improve soil fertility, decrease expenditure of the farmer, increase income levels of the farmers through Organic Farming practices.
People’s collectives play a pivotal role in promoting and implementing organic farming practices. They are instrumental in raising awareness, conducting training sessions on various aspects of organic farming such as the preparation and application of natural fertilizers, and optimizing resource utilization to reduce costs effectively.
These organic agricultural practices not only contribute to cost reduction but also protect human health by minimizing the use of harmful pesticides. Through our interventions, we have successfully transformed 1300 hectares of agricultural land into organic farming, benefiting approximately 1000 tribal families and increasing their income levels by 40%.
People are now cultivating Millets, Turmeric, Soya, Pulses, etc; and are now creating markets in and around their extent through the “Mystore” (Help farmers in promoting organic products and upgrading to healthy habitat) website under “SFAC – Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium”.
PGS - Participatory Guarantee System
To help farmers with the organic certification process, Ekalavya Foundation has been recognized as Regional Council to certify organic process of crop production across the country from the year 2017.
The central Government has introduced a “Participatory Guarantee System – (PGS)” to certify organic produce. Farmers can get their organic produce certified collectively. Also, through this online platform farmers can access National level markets by registering in Jaivikh Bharat Online Portal. To verify the authenticity of the certification a barcode is allocated to each farmer, which can be scanned by the customer during the purchase of the product.
In the year 2019-20, 1549 farmers registered from all over Telangana for organic certification out of which 639 farmers were given PGS Certificates. From 2017 a total of 4448 farmers belonging to 592 Groups have registered from both the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana out of which 3029 farmers were given organic certificates till date.
Pochampally Maa Thota Project
- The project is spread over 18 habitations under 8 Gram Panchayats in Indravelly and Sirikonda Mandals of Adilabad wherein 95% of population is tribal. The major tribes under the impact area are Gonds, Lambada and Kolams (Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups, PVTG).
- Horticulture Development, Soil Conservation, Water Resource Development, Training and Capacity Building, Women Development, Health Management are the key elements of the project.
- A special focus is on Women Empowerment. Active participation is being sought in activities at personal and community levels thereby enhancing their role in decision making. Apart from that, focus is also on to improve the enrolment of girls in schools and colleges.
We have successfully achieved a plantation covering 183 acres, with each acre consisting of 40 mango trees and 50 guava trees in the second year. Additionally, there are ongoing plantation works covering a total of 356 acres.
A total of 219 acres of intercrop cultivation has been undertaken, involving various crops such as red gram, green gram, groundnut, and others. A total of 105 renovation works for open wells have been completed, enabling the farmers to provide irrigation to their plantations.
Villagers participate one day in a month as a 'Shramadanam' to resolve
issues faced in the community