Kerala to go fully organic by 2016; Kasargod has already switched over


Copy-posting from http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/organic-farming-in-all-assembly-segments/article6747476.ece

[Kerala] To make State fully organic by 2016

The government has initiated efforts to promote organic farming in all Assembly constituencies.

Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan said here on Thursday that the initiative was designed to encourage farmers to switch over to organic methods of cultivation, under a project to convert Kerala into a fully organic State by 2016. Kasaragod district had already switched over to organic farming in the pilot phase of the project.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting to review the performance of public sector undertakings, Mr. Mohanan said the agriculture sector in the State had registered a Gross State Domestic Product growth of 5.26 per cent over the last year. The production of paddy went up to 5.376 lakh tonnes though the acreage of 2.148 hectares showed little increase. The productivity of other crops such as coconut, cassava, mango, pineapple and other fruits and spices, including pepper, ginger, and turmeric, also registered an impressive growth. The domestic vegetable production had gone up to 11.9 metric tonnes.

The Minister said efforts were on to procure vegetables from farmers through Krishi Bhavans and market them through outlets of Horticorp and Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam. Simultaneously, Kerala Agricultural University and the Agriculture Department were involved in a drive to promote processing of agricultural products under the “Safe to Eat” brand.

Vending machines

The government, he said, was planning to install vending machines in every panchayat to dispense neera, vegetable seeds and products manufactured by Kerafed. The project would be implemented by the departments of Agriculture and Panchayats. The daily production of neera was expected to go up to 20,000 litres by February with the commissioning of new plants by the Coconut Development Corporation at Aralam and Elathur and the KAU campuses at Vellanikara and Vellayani.

Mr. Mohanan said Kerala was expected to become self-sufficient in milk production in another three years. “By that time, we will have added 6,00,000 milch cows to the domestic bovine population, raising the milk production potential to 60 lakh litres.”

Officials from 20 public sector units participated in the review.

Earthrise : 9 min videos on the SOLUTIONS for a sustainable planet


earthrise_backgroundtop4.jpg.jpg

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/earthrise/

https://www.youtube.com/show/earthrise

earthrise explores solutions to today’s environmental challenges, taking an upbeat look at ecological, scientific, technological and design projects the world over. Our reporters meet inspiring individuals and communities leading the way in a field few can afford to ignore.

We need to dub many of these into Indian languages and spread them around!

Tiny organic garden right on your terrace !!!


With the rising number of buildings and the decreasing open space, terrace gardening is emerging as a great option to have the best of both worlds. Want to grow a terrace garden at your home? Our reader and contributor Vikram Kapoor shares with us his guide on how to grow wonderful veggies, flowers and fruits yourself.

Plants also need love. They can’t express their feelings but if you take proper care they will bloom,” says Kishore Kumar, a Bangalore resident who owns a terrace garden at his home in Shantinagar.

A few decades ago, almost all houses in Bangalore had a garden since plenty of space was available. However, since the IT boom, this space has been shrinking and today, it is almost non-existent. In spite of scarcity of accommodation, many people have come up with novel ways to grow plants even in the little available space. Terrace gardening is one of them.terrace garden

To read full article click here — http://www.thebetterindia.com/15579/terrace-garden/

Organic Food is Nutritionally Far Superior to Non-Organic Produce


Organic Food is Nutritionally Far Superior to Non-Organic Produce

A ground-breaking meta-analysis of 343 studies led by Newcastle University, U.K., has found that organic food delivers significantly more benefits compared to non-organic food.

Among these are that organic food contains up to 69% more of key antioxidants and significantly lower concentrations of cadmium (50%), nitrates (30%), nitrites (87%) and pesticides. The frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues in conventionally grown crops was four times higher than in organic produce. This increased to seven times in the case of fruit.

Antioxidants are linked to reduced risk of various diseases including cancer. Conversely, high nitrate and nitrite concentrations in food are considered as potential risk factors for illnesses such as stomach cancer.

The researchers stress the urgent need for further studies specially designed to identify and quantify the health impacts of switching to organic food. The abstract of the study and a briefing note on it are reproduced below as Items 1 and 2.

Millet brings a windfall


http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/millet-brings-a-windfall/article5435704.ece

A farmer of Muthukadu in Tamil Nadu has been harvesting a conventional minor millet “kuthiraivali” on his
fields recently.

The minor millet, with duration of 90 days, was raised on three acres of land and he is able to harvest an average 900 kg an acre.
“The kuthiraivali is a minor millet which can be raised on any dry land or wasteland,” says farmer Appavu Balandar.

The crop requires minimum
irrigation facility and is suited for
areas with less or poor rainfall in
the district, he says. It could
withstand drought-prone conditions up to 45 days. Against an investment of Rs. 2,500, the crop is expected to fetch prospective returns anywhere between Rs.11,000 and Rs.15,000 depending
upon the demand in the market as the produce was priced between Rs. 15 and Rs. 20 a kg, according to Appavu .

The crop was being revived through an initiative by Rose, a non-governmental organisation, which has been motivating farmers to re-discover the conventional crops which were raised in this part of the region.
According to Appavu, it could be raised as an alternative to paddy.

The crop is free from any pest
attack or disease. Less expenditure on cultivation and labour were the major advantages of this minor millet. There was a growing demand for the millet as it could be utilised for various dishes on the lines of rice.

Desi (heirloom) seeds by Sahaja Samrudha


Sahaja Samrudha or Bountiful Nature, a brainchild of a group of organic farmers was born over a decade ago mainly out of concern to protect our mother earth. Sahaja Samrudha started as a farmer initiated to exchange ideas, seeds and share knowledge on sustainable agriculture. The formation of Sahaja Samrudha was the culmination of their individual efforts into a more exciting and powerful force to make sustainable agriculture a way of life of the farming community. Sahaja Samrudha has spread out its network on publications, workshops & trainings, organising different melas and on marketing in order to encourage more farmers towards organic farming.

To know more visit these links :

http://www.sahajasamrudha.org/

http://www.sahajaorganics.com/

facebook them at : https://www.facebook.com/sahaja.seeds.3

to know the prices of various seeds or teh price list email them at  – sahajaseeds@gmail.com

Bhoomi College – For sustainability studies


Step into the world of Bhoomi College — http://www.bhoomicollege.org/
A unique community-based institution focused on fostering Earth Consciousness and Sustainable Living…

Bhoomi College has been an idea, a dream in seed form for a long, long time. It continued to grow through the Prakriya Green Wisdom School, where in subtle and tangible ways they continued to work on building consciousness about ecologically wise living.
In 2007, a group, began working on an Earth Citizenship seminar and then went on to organizing conferences on Food, Health and Climate Change(2009) and on The Good Life (2011). As Bhoomi Network this group expanded, and after 2 years of bringing out the Bhoomi magazine and organizing several programmes on Inner and Outer Ecology, they are now a formal college as well.

to know more check out – http://www.facebook.com/BhoomiCollege

Also check out – www.prakriyaschool.org

Sardar patel organic farm


Sardar Patel Farm A certified 125 acre organic farm on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Organic farming based on a Bio-Dynamic framework is followed by us in our effort to be a part of the healthy chain healthy soil healthy crops healthy foods – healthy life.

​After over 11 years of following these farming practices we have earned the International Organic Certification awarded by the Control Union Certifications NPOP, Govt. of India, E U, USDA / NOP, Swiss Farming Ordinance.

to know more —
http://www.sardarpatelfarm.com

Bhutan To Be First Country to Go 100% Organic


The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is known for a high level of citizen happiness, but it is doing something even more noteworthy in the near future.

It’s called the National Organic Policy, and it is fueled by the simple concept that working ‘in harmony with nature’ will yield the most powerful results — all without sacrificing human health or the environment. What this comes down to is no GMO, no pesticides, no herbicides, no fluoride-based spray products, no Monsanto intrusion at all, and a whole lot of high quality food available for the 700,000 citizens of Bhutan.

Some lands in Bhutan have not even been touched with harsh chemicals of any kind, and traditional techniques are utilized to produce high yields without Monsanto dipping into the pockets of family farmers. This is in sharp contrast to India’s farming community, which has been shafted by Monsanto and subsequently nicknamed the ‘suicide belt‘ due to the rampant suicides that can be blamed in part by Monsanto-induced financial ruin.

via Bhutan To Be First Country to Go 100% Organic – Occupy Monsanto.

Farming – The Gandhian Way – Bhaskar Save


Known widely as the Gandhi of natural farming, Bhaskar Save, at his farm located in south Gujarat, imbibes non-violence and harmonious co-existence with farming. See the video below to learn how he does it, and some surprising insights and innovative practices.

gandhian principles farming

How to make Amrut Jal (Water) to Enrich soil


A Hands on guide for Indian farmers on How to make “AMRUT JAL” By Shri dipak Sachade – Natueco Farming Expert, to Enrich Soil

More: An extended 4-part series on the philosophy of Natueco Farming Science, Method of making Amrut mitti and Amrut Jal
Organic/Natueco Farming – Malpani Trust – Deepak Suchde – Bajwada, M.P. – Part 1
Organic/Natueco Farming – Malpani Trust – Deepak Suchde – Bajwada, M.P. – Part 2
Organic/Natueco Farming – Malpani Trust – Deepak Suchde – Bajwada, M.P. – Part 3
Organic/Natueco Farming – Malpani Trust – Deepak Suchde – Bajwada, M.P. – Part 4

Organic farming vs Conventional farming 30 year study


After 30 years of side-by-side research in their Farming Systems Trial, Rodale Institute has demonstrated that organic farming is better equipped to feed us now and well into the ever changing future.

http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/fst30years

Satyamev Jayate episode on toxic food Vs organic farming


Satyamev Jayate’s episode on toxic food vs. organic farming (in hindi)
A one hour episode highlighting the grim realities of toxic chemicals used in conventional agriculture making their way from deformity-inflicted children of farmers all the way into the milk of lactating mothers in India’s cities, and affecting everyone in between. And then about alternatives: organic farming, food grown free from fertilizers and pesticides. cases where it is successfully happening and highlighting the possiblities of a different way of growing food, in co-operation with nature instead of being pitted against it.
Watch on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9uForVzTOA

Dhirendra – Smita : family living sustainably on 2.5 acres land near Vadodara, Gujarat


Two Thoreaus of Sakwa County (click to read the article)

Dhirendra and Smita were both PhD professors of engineering who traded in their classroom careers for a life of living naturally. In 1983, the couple bought and moved to a two and a half acres path of land in a small tribal village in Gujarat, India and built a new house and lifestyle. No electricity, no vehicles, no running water. Instead they would work on farms, eat fresh, pesticide-free produce, drink their own cow’s milk, and live with the rhythms of nature. Eventually they would find solutions for several community problems: digging wells, installing a bio-gas plant to utilize cow-dung for basic electricity, experimenting with a wind mill, and solar cooking. Their’s is a remarkable story of two people who, in a small corner of the world, are redefining what it means to live consciously, one day at a time.

Today, they are a family of five producing over 200 kilograms of crop annually: oilseeds, pulses, spice and over 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables, all grown with organic manure. "Each month we have different fruits and vegetables," Dhirendra proudly smiles, as he gives us a tour of their farm. Walking through the two and a half acres, you can spot everything from mangoes, papayas, lemongrass, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet tamarind, eggplant, to vanilla right here in their own backyard.

What about money and other expenses? "Our yearly budget averages to about 12,000 rupees (less than $300)," says Smita, "that comes from selling a sweet-sour cold drink powder made from a plant in our farm, some Ayurvedic medicine, and hand-made organic soap from a Neem plant." That budget is not just for the two of them; it also includes their two adult sons and one daughter-in-law! More than half of their expenses go toward travel and books and the rest are used for clothes, shoes, some food items that they don’t grow, like salt or jaggery. To keep all the wheels moving, everyone averages about 4 hours of work daily.

Please click the link at top to read the whole article. Excerpts from www.movedbylove.org