Vana sees traditional farming, rooted in wisdom and experience, as one of the most dignified human activities. Agriculture in India once reached a level of sophistication and equilibrium beyond the understanding of modern day science. Seeing the soil as a living entity and nature as a being to revere, Indian culture and wisdom became inextricably interwoven with the land. But India lacked conviction as a new nation. Faced with difficult circumstances after 1947, it buckled under external influence and began to transform its methods of farming. Agriculture in India is similar to most places in the world now, driven by greed, where output is the only goal and destructive consequences considered par for the course.
The benefits to Indian agriculture from what is called the ‘green revolution’ is conveniently misrepresented. The gargantuan increase in water consumption, use of harmful chemicals, soil erosion and cancer in rural societies with declining social wellbeing is mostly overlooked. As is the unfortunate dependence of Indian farmers on the government and many self-serving corporations. A legacy of control and exploitation by middle-men has also continued, creating an ever increasing divide between those that produce food and those that consume it. The once dignified Indian farmer is today at everyone's mercy, including that of his/her now diminished self-worth.
Vana Krishi endeavours to make a concerted effort to reverse some of the corruption of traditional farming and rural life in India. There is optimism - India has not yet crossed the point of no return as some agricultural societies have. We also have the conviction that only through an enlivened, empowered and vibrant rural society will India regain a sense of equilibrium with itself, nature and humanity.
Beginning with the food needs of our Retreat and our families, we are stitching together a network of farmers to become self-sufficient. This will provide guaranteed consumers to Vana Krishi’s first few hundred farmers. We will focus within our region initially but slowly extend outwards, as we build further networks and enlarge our activity. Our intent is to include almost every type of food and agricultural output in our network, from grains and vegetables to dairy and cotton. We will help farmers with organic certification where possible and supplementary knowledge and resources as needed.
As one of Vana Foundation’s most ambitious projects, Vana Krishi might need a decade to make the smallest dent and 20-30 years before it makes an impact at a large scale. We will need consistent support from our well-wishers, sponsors and the community at large. Vana Krishi will enable and assist farmers and serve rural Indians in every way that it can.
VANA KRISHI INTERVENTIONS
This initiative endeavours to transform subsistence agriculture into sustainable one, through Organic and Agro-biodiversity based solutions.
- Community Mobilisation
- Awareness and Motivation
- Empowerment and Capacity Building
- Integrated Nutrient Management
- Integrated Pest Management
- Diversification in and from Agriculture
- Organic Certification
- Marketing tie-ups