Isha Agro Movement-Tamil Nadu- CSR Projects India
 
 
 
 

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Isha Agro Movement

 
 

Organization : Isha Outreach

 
 

Location : Tamil Nadu

 
 

Project Description

"Soil is the source of food we eat. Food is the basis of our body. But some call this soil as dirt. If the source is dirt, what of the end product? Only in preserving quality of soil, quality of planet and life will endure." - Sadhguru

 

Launched in 2007, Isha Agro Movement (IAM) has been working on the promotion of natural farming as the desired model of sustainable and self-reliant agriculture with a key focus on increasing net income for farmers as compared to conventional chemical-based farming. It aims to build a strong and vibrant community of farmers practicing chemical-free Zero Budget Natural Farming by conducting educational workshops.

 

The deep agrarian crisis is making small scale farming very difficult. Privatized seeds, inputs, and markets are inaccessible and expensive for farmers, who are increasingly finding themselves in a vicious cycle of debt, because of the high production costs, high interest rates for credit, the volatile market prices of crops, the rising costs of fossil-fuel-based inputs and private seeds. Over 250,000 farmers have committed suicide in India in the last two decades. Various studies have linked farmers’ suicides to debts. Under such conditions, Zero Budget Natural Farming, i.e. without spending any money on purchased inputs, promises to end the reliance on loans and drastically cut production costs, ending the onerous debt cycle.

 

Expected impact of the project over long term is as follows:

  • Increase in farmer incomes by: Reduction of input costs by employing natural farming techniques, and hence, Reduction in farmers’ debt, and Better price realisations for naturally grown produce
  • Improvement in soil organic matter
  • Provision of chemical-free and nutrition-rich food to the end-consumers.

 

Latest Update

In 2020, the IAM team conducted an experiment by using four natural farming techniques to grow 9 traditional varieties of paddy. The experiment was conducted to set an example for local farmers and also compare the crop yield generated by each technique. Model Farms play a key role in capacity building by hosting training camps, interactive sessions between farmers and by imparting an experiential learning to IAM members and farmers.

 

Till March, before COVID-19 forced the country to go under lockdown, 6 training programs were conducted for 350 farmers. Based on individual requests for more help, the team has been providing hand holding support to 1500 farmers in the state. Since inception, 9,085 farmers have been trained in over 85 training programs across Tamil Nadu on bio-input preparation, pest management for crop specific natural farming systems.

 

While their physical outreach plans for 2020 had to be postponed due to the pandemic, their online presence and focus on digital outreach has improved significantly. IAM’s YouTube channel now has over 1 Lakh subscribers and their videos showcasing natural farming and model farms have drawn over 5 million views till date. Instructional videos on natural farming and information on future training programs are also being webcast for farmers through social media platforms - their Facebook page has 16,000 followers and 4141 WhatsApp groups have been set up linking 6,250 farmers. To inspire and instruct the agriculturists on natural farming, IAM has also been routinely featuring successful farmers in various social media forums via blogs, articles and audio-visual stories.

 

Achievements Till Date

  • 9,085 farmers have been trained in over 85 programs to enable a shift to self-reliant, sustainable practices of farming
  • Nearly 2,000 farmers made the transition with the support of the IAM.

 

Project is aligned with the respective UN SDGs and with the Section 135, Schedule VII activities of the Companies Act 2013.

 
 
 
 

Project Type : CSR

 
 

Special Features of Project

  • The only project in India that provides practical trainings conducted on the farmers’ fields with live demonstrations in model farms which build practical understanding and confidence in their trainee farmers. So far, 70 such farms are being used for training.
  • Unlike most organizations, we have a team of trained volunteers and experts to closely hand-hold the farmers after training in the most cost effective way possible
  • They also focus on addressing the issue of market access and realisation of fair market price for naturally grown produce by facilitating establishment of direct linkages between the producers and consumers wherever possible.
 
 

Project Donors and Partners

Tata Trusts, Nabard, Sony Entertainment Television
 
 
 

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