Isha Agro Services launched
05 July, 2007
Coimbatore, 6 July 2007: The Indian economy has performed remarkably well since in the last few years. However, impressive GDP growth rates cannot belie the fact that the countryside, where the majority of India’s population lives, faces a crisis unparalleled since independence. Isha Foundation is responding to this dramatic situation with its Isha Agro Services. The initiative was launched at the recent Farmers Meet, a gathering of representatives of major farming organizations in Tamil Nadu, held at Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore, on 5 July 2007.
At the Meet, Sadhguru emphasized that cooperation is crucial for farmers to optimize the processes of production and marketing and that Isha Agro Services will serve as a platform to develop and promote collective farming. As for organic farming, Sadhguru said this had been the traditional method of farming always and that it was lost only in the last thirty years. A return to organic farming would not only help the environment and increase the quality of farm products, but also reduce production costs. Expressing his concern for the environment, Sadhguru warned that practicing agriculture without taking care of the environment would be very futile.
In terms of the decline in prices for agricultural products, Sadhguru stressed on reducing production costs. Subsidies from the government would not be practical after India’s economy has shifted from a government-controlled to a market-driven one. With regard to the still highly labor-intensive production process in Indian farming, Sadhguru pointed out that if the necessary transformation of agriculture is brought about, engaging just 20-30% of the population in farming would be sufficient. Others could work in allied sectors such as transportation, storage and marketing.
The national president of the National Agricultural Awareness Movement (NAAM), Mr D R Kaarthikeyan, also present in the meeting, called upon farmers to invest in drip irrigation, practice organic farming and create storage facilities.
In a well-conceived plan, Isha Agro Services addresses the range of problems the agricultural sector currently encounters. The Services provides practical support, training and know-how about efficient farming methods, organic farming, marketing, value addition, and procurement. It will network farmers, interest groups and governmental institutions to enhance cooperation and create synergy effects. Moreover, model farms will be developed in every participating village. Expected outcomes of the initiative are higher yields, stabilized income, increased shelf-life of farm products, reduced labor dependence and improved water economy.
Using the existing underlying structure of Action for Rural Rejuvenation, Isha Agro Services has started its operations in Gobichettypalayam Taluk of Erode District, covering around 1,000 farmers in 150 villages with nearly 2,000 acres of land.
For more information, please contact K. Sekar, mobile no. 94430 57565.