SANGAREDDY: To introduce consumers to region-specific produce, the Decca n Development Society has launched a booklet titled “Chirudhanyalaku Chirunama: Arjun Nayak Thanda” (Arjun nayak Thanda, a home for Millets)
Suggi Panduga, a festival celebrating farmers’ produce and marking the end of the farming season, and the subsequent time for harvesting, was celebrated at Deccan Development Society (DDS) in a unique manner on Saturday. Farmers from Arjun Nayak Thanda in Zaheerabad mandal displayed their organicallygrown produce to the urban consumer group, Beyond Organic. During these uncertain times for farmers amid the pandemic, their produce indicated the food security they have established, where they have produced enough nutritional food not just for themselves, but also for customers from urban areas.
The festival started with consumers visiting farms at Arjun Nayak Thanda, where farmers shared their experiences and the challenges they faced during the Kharif season this year. Satheesh, Director of DDS, said, “Consuming organic food is not just about the consumption of chemical-free food. Consumers should also be imparted a holistic understanding of the culture, practice and the importance of growing organic crops.” On Saturday, the Director launched a special, organic, cold pressed safflower oil developed at DDS, and highlighted its nutritional values.
Tejaswi, coordinator of Beyond Organic, emphasized on “how important it is to meet the farmers, interact with them, listen to the challenges they faced, and enhance the relationship between them and consumers.” Though the consumer group’s initial vision was to provide good food to consumers and sustain this form of agriculture, in due course, the initiative has led to many unexpected outcomes wherein urban consumers are being educated on other aspects, like the chal lenges faced by farmers.
Amiribhai, a farmer from Arjun Nayak thanda, said, “We are very happy that we could share our produce with the members of Beyond Organic. The reason why we practice this bio-diverse mixed cropping is for us to be able to retain at least some crops. And we need no external sources for our farming because we save our own seeds, we make our own manure from our very own cattle and we produce enough food for ourselves as well as for others.”