Article and Image Courtesy : One World South Asia
Author : Madhusmita Hazarika
A tractor loaded with sacks of cotton ready for the market
Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own – Samuel Johnson
There is no doubt that farming in India today does not present a rosy picture of sustainability with its debt ridden farmers and chemical tainted soil. Albeit modest, there have been hopeful initiatives – starting with organic farming and the progressive use of traditional agriculture practices – that are encouraging a shift from the dismal side.
The peace by peace cotton project (PBPCP), currently underway in eastern Indian state Odisha, is a fitting example. The project is implemented by a local farmer-owned organisation Chetna Organic Farmers Association (COFA), with support from Japan based popular catalogue retailer Felissimo Corporation and is facilitated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Started in 2010, the project promotes organic cotton farming in Odisha’s Kalahandi district to bring in eco-friendly profits to small holder farmers.