Farming is central to India’s economy, but it is back-breaking work under the hot sun for long hours every day. Corporate agriculture has displaced farmers from their land, dependence on commercial supplies like seed, fertilizer, and pesticides has steadily increased costs, and the effects of global warming like more severe droughts and monsoons have drastically reduced yields. Not surprisingly, family farms are slowly disappearing.
Traditional farming methods require expensive, genetically modified seeds to enable extensive use of toxic pesticides. Mono-cropping and chemical fertilizers degrade the soil making the harvest more meager every year, and more vulnerable to drought and flooding.
Organic farming can dramatically change this pattern. Seed-banking, composting, multi-cropping, and crop rotation result in more abundant, more nutritious crops at a lower cost, providing increased incomes to farmers and enabling families to stay on their lands. More stable soil helps limit the amount of disaster relief needed and speeds farm reclamation, while eliminating the use of fossil fuels and toxic chemicals helps slow global warming.
What we’re doing to help
Since 1995, VOICE Trust has been conducting farming field schools teaching children, farmers, and women’s groups how to create bio-diverse, nature-centric farms using integrated pest and crop management, permaculture principles, and organic fertilizers that enrich rather than deplete the soil.
Today this training is providing regular employment and incomes for approximately 4,000 people who might otherwise have had to abandon farming, while their children have the time and financial support to continue their educations.
Read about two women whose lives were changed by our training.