Success with Sustainable Farming Practices
Mr. Gajithiren originally practiced conventional farming with only modest success. After taking advantage of the many training opportunities offered by local partner CHETHANA, he has become passionate about organic farming and shares what he knows with his neighbors. He owns three cows which provide him with milk and fertilizer and grows many different types of vegetables. He says he has noticed not only the significant health benefits to his family of eating organic foods, but how much easier it is to control pests. He’s planning on approaching local supermarkets to form a partnership to carry his produce in their stores.
The India South program began in 2015, managed by local partner CHETHANA, and recently drew to a close. There is no doubt that farmers and their families are much better off after receiving training in a variety of successful approaches that have helped to improve their financial, food and nutritional security. These include
- Organic agriculture, crop, pest, and water management
- Promoting native seeds like millet and mung bean
- Growing a wide range of vegetables in kitchen gardens close to participants’ homes
- Securing good prices for farmers through producer organizations
- Accessing government programs
At the start of the program farmers were cultivating only 20 different crops and five types of vegetables. They are now cultivating 68 different crops and 99 seed varieties. They used to have to buy most of their seed: now they save their own and exchange with other farmers for greater seed diversity. Farmers are learning to conserve the resources that they have and become more self-sufficient. They have seen how much they can accomplish by working together cooperatively.
India South Program
Led by Presbyterian Church (USA) and Local Partner CHETHANA