SARGUJA, Chhattisgarh: Organic food production can boost farmers’ income as consumers are willing to pay more for quality products. Also, organic farming gives present access to a reliable, untapped and growing market to farmers.
Organic farming is being promoted by Adani Foundation under its Project Annapurna in villages-Parsa, Salhi, Basen, Ghatbarra, Janardanpur, Tara and Fatehpur of Ambikapur region Sarguja of Chhattisgarh, where Adani Group has coal mining operation at Parsa East-Kante Basin.
The project will impact 5000 farmers. In FY 19-20, under the phase 1, 100 acres of land for cultivation will be covered. Village are located around 70 kms from district headquarters and from 350 kms from Raipur, capital of the state.
“The project has been started at a modest budget of few lakhs of rupees and we will allocate more based on the outcomes.”, company informed.
Project has initiated to transform agriculture practices in villages. Under the project, 100 farmers will convert 100 acres of land for organic farming of vegetables, maize and wheat. Harvested rainwater, deep bore well, pond fulfils the water requirement of agriculture in the villages. Training on techniques for organic farming and producing/using vermicompost, Farmers Club Formation, seeds distribution are key activities of the projects.
Adani Group’s not for profit arm Adani Foundation with support from state government’s horticulture department and Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Ambikapur will train farmers on vermicomposting. It is an eco-friendly method of making manure using earthworms and vegetables or food waste, which effectively improves fertility and cuts down detrimental impacts of fertilisers and pesticides.
While the horticulture department has provided three Vermi beds (3 feet x 10 feet x 1.5 feet), which will be setup at Basan village, Adani Foundation has taken up the responsibility of sensitising farmers associated with the Project named “Annapurna”.
The Surguja region can utilise these factors for sustainable production and bringing a socio-economic change at grassroots level, say experts. Beneficiaries of the Annapurna project are keen to adopt vermicomposting for a better yield. One such farmer from Basan village, Mr. Rajesh Tirkee, said “After successful produce of wheat, I look forward to the training on the use of vermicomposting for improving our yield”
This is not the first such strategic engagement initiated by the Adani Foundation. Earlier this year the institution urged farmers to take up cultivation of second winter crop. As a result close to 80 farmers grew wheat across over 100 acre of land in the Surguja district. The success stories driven through a co-operative named Kisan Club has attracted many takers with its membership touching the 500 mark.
Support of government and initiatives of Adani Foundation has enabled newer opportunities for local communities and transformed their lives in Parsa and nearby villages. This model of holistic development by engaging local community in multiple initiatives can be replicated in other parts of the country to make a meaningful difference.
“We have projects under livelihood (Project Annapurna, Vasundra etc), education( Adani Vidya Mandir and Kaushal Vikas Kendra), women empowerment(Women Cooperative engaged in mid-day meal, papad making, Project Jeewan Amrit), health(mega health camps), curbing malnutrition, supply of clean and safe drinking water etc. Our CSR projects benefit over 9000 villagers.”, Adani informed.
According to industry ASSOCHAM, the organic food market is growing at over 20 percent annually in India and is expected to reach Rs 10,000 crore by 2020. This growth is driven by rising health consciousness, changing lifestyles and higher disposable incomes of consumers.