In 2002, founder Sunil Gupta left his home and job in Delhi and shifted to Sirsa, Haryana to live off his family’s land by developing an organic farm. Sunil traveled to organic farms around the country to better understand organic agriculture techniques. After facing many challenges in the initial years, he finally began to see results; most poignantly when he noticed that his fields were full of butterflies and those butterflies would not enter the fields of his neighbors.
In the last decade, the environmental, economic and public health effects of excessive chemical use became apparent in the surrounding villages. Land degradation and water table depletion are high in Punjab and Haryana, and cancer rates amongst villagers are exceptionally high.
Farmers who joined the group, converted to organic primarily for health reasons. The organization provides resources and training to farmers who make a personal commitment to growing organic because they want to improve the quality of life for their family and village. The organization has immense technical knowledge and is constantly experimenting with innovative methods and techniques. They have received grants from the Haryana government and the Prince of Wales Foundation to magnify the impact of their work. Today the organization works with over 3000 farmers in Haryana, Punjab who have average land holdings of 5 acres.
The current challenges include initial loss of output and hence earnings, high costs of certification, risk of pest and disease attack, and difficulty in finding consumers who value organic produce.
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