Agricultural is the major occupation of the villages we work in, and challenges such as soil erosion, climate change, and urban migration are hurting the outputs and incomes of farmers, and are making the future prospects for agriculture in the area very unpredictable. Grampari is working on multiple projects to support farmers' livelihoods and revitalize farmland.
Organic/Natural Farming: Grampari is raising awareness and educating farmers on how and why to use organic and/or natural farming methods, which reduce costs, rejuvanate rather than damage soil, and can produce as much output as chemical farming. We teach methods such as making fertilizers and pesticides with natural ingredients such as cow dung and cow urine, using Saguna Rice Technology (which is much less labor and water intensive than conventional methods of flooding rice fields), and inter-cropping.
Indigenous Seed Bank: Over the years, farmers have increasingly been using hybridized and genetically modified strains of crops that optimize for the highest yields. This practice threatens the survival of numerous diverse strains, which can be better adapted to diseases and insects and require less water. Grampari has been sustaining an indigenous seed bank, in order to preserve and promote strains that are adapted to the local environment.
Grampari Farm: We also have our own demonstration plot at Grampari, where we have fruit orchards and plant grains and vegetables. We use this plot to conduct trainings for farmers and test out different agricultural methods.
Sagar Bhilare teaching farmers how to make Jivamroot
Farmers selling organic strawberries at a market in Pune
Grampari's Indigenous Seed Bank
After attending a Grampari Residential Programme, one young farmer from Vivar decided to grow rice with Saguna Rice Technology, use organic manure rather than chemical fertilizer, and use indigenous strains of rice, supplied by Grampari. His expenses were 10 times less than they would have been with conventional methods, and his yields were similar.
Sustainable farming awareness programs are being conducted in 14 villages
13 farmers have switched from chemical to organic farming methods and 11 have started using indigenous seeds
Conducted 6 trainings attended by 150 farmers
Organized 3 farmers dialogues attended by 500 farmers
Produced 3 tons of vegetables, cereals, fruits and pulses on the Grampari farm