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Local farmers for a global food culture

A consciousness based training for young farmers and farmers to be, as well as for environmental educators and food processors

Traditional farming is holding on to  conservative values and lifestyle, which don’t appeal to young, educated people.Income from farming is low, while labour costs are soaring.

Due to climate change, the rain patterns have drastically changed in the past 8 years,  and the outcome of farming is drastically unpredicatable.

Auroville has an global food culture – traditional South Indian as well as produce serving taste buds of the International visitors, and much sought after by the Young Indians: from Pizza & pesto to Vegan food items like microgreens and smoothies to innovations like edible weeds, Rosella jam, and cashew fruit syrup.  We propose to train young farmers and farmers to provide these products for value gain.

Indian Cities see a sharp increase in life style diseases – diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity etc. The questions of eating healthy is on the plate for a large middle class population. Tourism is on the rise, natural environments are thought after, but far.

Why not combine and offer the obvious:

Farms offer “Farm to plate” food from their produce, traditional plus global recipiees – for the curious city dwellers a mind changing experience. A jump in consciousness to reconnect to the living world and the life force innate in freshly plugged greens, fruits and veggies, all put together in a unique smoothie? The value of organic farming monetises.

Then lets add on a farm tour, a guided visit with head sets, if the farmer is unavailable – again adding to the growth of consciousness, but also to the pocket of the farmer.

The adventure of visiting an organic farm is to be concluded with joining a “farm to consumer” App or whatsapp group, where the farmer sends info about the seasonal produce, and freshly prepared processed products, to the city dwelling customers who can well afford their newfound health conscious food provider.

We plan to setup an online hub to give training, interspersed with 5 day immersion in experiential learning on Auroville`s demonstration farms and food processing. We aim to train 60 farmers from Tamil Nadu til March 2024, and to continue to train farmers while forming local training hubs with the farms which show best practices. 

Further, those farmers with good access to their farms, might develop into full fledged environmental education centers, which will can support with our experts, including visits and consultancy, ongoingly. We have a considerable range of educational materials, which is already tested and adapted to the local situation in south India. (Youtube videos, Books, posters, audio- walk, ).

Questions of  water consumption, waste, pollution can be expanded upon, creating awareness …

School kids can visit the local farm cum environmental education centre, and get exposure to what it means to produce food in tune with nature.

Aurovilian organic farming trainer and consultant Uma Ramanan giving training to rural farmers on the topic of soil fertility.

Uma is also the founder of Saragam, an organisation promoting organic food and consultancy