Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Farmers profit from going organic

Farming techniques introduced by a Catholic diocese stave off poverty

Farmers profit from going organic
Gangaram holding the soyabean grains from the bumper crop he reaped from the Church promoted organic farming techniques
Saji Thomas, Amravati

February 18, 2011

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)

Farmers in India's Vidarbha region have started adopting organic farming techniques introduced by a Catholic diocese to overcome poverty. “We have been able to almost double our yield after applying the Church’s organic farming techniques,” said Gangaram Jhamarkar, one of the farmers who has benefited from the techniques. He said his soyabean production has doubled after applying these techniques. Jhamarkar is one of the 13 farmers trained at the Centre for Environmental Studies in Social Sector farm school in Amravati district in the region in Maharashtra state. The Amravati diocese started the farm school in June 2010 as a pilot project to help the farmers tide over their poverty following continuous crop failures in the region. The school is funded by Caritas India, the Indian bishops’ social action wing. Jhamarkar said that initially they were skeptical about the Church initiative but when explained about the techniques, “we decided to try them.” He said the farmers from nearby areas have started enquiring about the techniques after seeing the bumper crops. Social development officer Mukund Dehmukh said farmer clubs are formed to spread information about the techniques. Deshmukh said that seven such clubs have been made with 10-14 farmers in each club. The farmers are asked to spare a small piece land for applying these techniques on an experimental basis before cultivating on a large scale, he added. Father Jolly Puthenpura, who heads the diocesan social work department, said organic farming is effective, cheap and retains fertility of land. The Vidarbha region has seen the highest number of farmer suicides due to increasing debts and crop failures. A government estimate puts farmer suicides at 4,427 in the past decade, while social activists and Church people say the toll is three times more. IC13342.1641
UCAN needs your support to continue our independent journalism
Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation. Click here to donate now.

Related Reports