Kerala’s Organic Farmers Association Wins International Award For Innovative Farming Methods
Kerala’s Jaiva Karshaka Samithi (Kerala Organic Farmers Association) has won Organic Medal of Honour, conferred by International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) Asia in South Korea, in association with Xichong Municipal corporation based in China, reported The News Minute.
The award will be presented on May 30, in Xichong China. The award comes with a certificate, gold medal and prize money worth USD 5,000, i.e., Rs 3.5 lakh.
Jaiva Karshaka Samithi was formed in 1992 by a group of environmentalists in ‘One Earth One Life’ with leadership from famous ecologist Shri John C. Jacob, naturopathy doctor Dr C.R. R. Varma and expert in Organic Farming Shri K.V Dayal, and the association won this global recognition for their work in innovating organic farming methods and for scaling up production.
The group works in fields of Organic Farming, Ecology, Health and Happiness. The main objective of the group is to create food production and distribution locally, give a fair price to farmers and healthy food for the community through environment-friendly organic farming. Moreover, they aim to develop alternative lifestyle models through constructive work and create a farmer pressure group to make policy changes.
The group has around 15,000 members, all are actively participating in organic farming methods. It runs on cooperative setup, where members elect Board members, which comprises of presidents, treasurers, secretaries.
The group has led efforts in protecting traditional rice varieties and vegetables local to the area, which include okra, eggplant, beans, green chillies etc.
Not only this, the group with the help of NGOs, runs organic farming courses for farmers. The classes are held for 20 Sundays in 20 different locations where both theory and practical of organic farming methods are taught.
Apart from these organic farming methods, at the village level, children and women are taught to keep houses toxin-free.
The Samiti also organise an organic farming festival, for farmers in different districts of Kerala annually where members can discuss their discoveries or query with organic farming experts. This year the festival was held at Vadakara in Kannur.
Organic farming in India
Sikkim was formally declared as India’s first fully organic state after it successfully implemented organic farming practices on its 75,000 hectares of agricultural land.
In India, nine other states—have organic farming policy or law, which include Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat and Maharashtra. Out of these, Kerala has recently announced its will to become 100% organic.