Having won over the hearts and minds of the farmers of Mahadevpura, in Mandya district of Karnataka, with the enviable output in its model organic farm, the Eco-Agri Research Foundation is now in a position to motivate more and more farmers to convert to eco-friendly and sustainable farming practices. The farmers, who earlier practised mono cropping in paddy and sugarcane with hybrid varieties and chemical inputs, have initiated collection, conservation and cultivation of local varieties of paddy, production of ‘inputs’ like compost and vermicompost on farm, intercropping sugarcane with legumes and cultivation of banana, ginger, pepper and vanilla as mixed crops in coconut gardens. The major organic products generated from the site are jaggery, rice, vanilla, and banana. The entire produce is being procured by the Foundation and sold in domestic markets in Bangalore and Mysore. The Foundation also procures organically grown vanilla, ginger and pepper from other parts of Karnataka as well as from the neighbouring state of Kerala for export to US and European countries.
With its thrust on rural development, uplifting marginal and small farmers, and empowering village women, the Foundation today reaches out to different target groups in various parts of the country as far apart as Jaipur in Rajasthan and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Nearer home, North Canara, Malnad, Mysore, Western Ghats, Nilgiris, Kodagu, Gadag, Hombale, Hulakoti, Mundergi, South Canara and Hubli, Dharwar, Haveri and Chitradurga in Deccan Plateau are covered extensively. A number of regional farmers’ associations are keenly co-ordinating their marketing plans with the Foundation.
A chain of 12 outlets, carrying the unmistakable imprint ‘Organic Lifestyle,’ is scheduled to open in various regions in south India so that the distribution network for branded organic products can be widened.
Quality assurance system is a valuable index of the integrity embedded in the organisation. Internal Control System indicates ways to track, measure, and assess compliance with various international standards. The Federation offers subsidised certification and control system to organic farmers.