A not-for-profit venture promoting sustainable farming practices and a sense of participation by individuals and communities: reStore – Chennai

Organic Farming: The reality behind the myths

bu Karthik Kumar

An edited version of this article also appeared in The Business Line newspaper http://www.blonnet.com/2008/09/02/stories/2008090251610900.htm

Organic farming is coming under attack from many quarters, even as awareness spreads that it is a more sustainable and healthier way to live. Criticism ranges, from, doubts about its lack of capacity to feed the world, to, bogies being raised about people having to return to the ’dark ages‘ of food shortage and starvation unless recourse to intensive chemical farming is taken forthwith.

It is time that grains of facts shift the chaff or propaganda and fear mongering to prove that, in fact, organic farming is the real alternative to sustainably producing enough food for the growing world.

Organic farming can feed the world and still have enough food left over!

An extensive study carried out in nearly 50 countries, both developed and developing, by a group of eight eminent (disciplines included – Palaeontology, Natural Resources, Environment, Horticulture, Evolutionary Biology, Ecology, Art and Design) scientists (from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University) concluded that the available food production was more than sufficient for human kind. They estimated the calorific value of all the food supply to be 2,786 kCals per capita per day, for the total volume of food supply available in 2001. Astoundingly, they also went on to prove that, if the same land had been farmed organically, then the calorific value available in 2001 would have in fact been much higher i.e. 4,380, KCals per capita per day! Their data is summarised in Table 1. […]

Anecdotal evidence of the Indian experience suggests that Indian farmers too reap the many benefits of organic farming and many worldwide have, in fact, begun calling such cultivation practices ‘Indian Farming’! […]

Given our relative scarcity of land, large farmer population and fragmented land-holdings, the benefits of organic farming appear uniquely suited to Indian conditions.

So, perhaps the time is right to make a push into adopting organic farming in right earnest, given its many benefits to both the producer and the consumer.

The FAO too supports this point of view. […]

(The author is a Chennai-based business analyst. Feedback to [email protected])
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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 2, 2008)

Source: reStore
Address : http://restore.org.in/Feature-Article/83
Date Visited: Fri Sep 06 2013 20:56:10 GMT+0200 (CEST)

What is the role of reStore?

reStore makes available food (and other natural) products that have been produced using sustainable practices such as organic farming, since this is integral to bringing about change in people’s lives.

The products sold by reStore are sourced largely from local, disfranchised producer groups, such as the small organic farmer, rural artisans, underprivileged groups, SHGs and so on, so as to help support their livelihoods.

reStore is a not-for-profit venture; further, reStore engages in commerce that attempts to be as fair and transparent as possible to all three stakeholders: the producer, the consumer and the entrepreneur.

How do we wish to do this?

reStore would like to carry out its mission by bringing together a community of people who will engage in genuine exploration of issues, free exchange of knowledge and a questioning of present-day value systems.

Encouraging volunteerism, a sense of participation and involvement in our activities by individuals, communities and groups from around the city form the basis of our operations. reStore wishes to continually reach out to wider sections of society by actively encouraging creative, dynamic ways of expanding our space.

Networking with other like-minded groups is therefore core to our work.

Source: reStore
Address : http://restore.org.in/About-Us/1
Date Visited: Fri Sep 06 2013 20:58:51 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Read more about reStore on its homepage and Facebook pages.

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