When you are in ZBSF, then why you are thinking of Organic certification? The name of ZBSF itself is an Brand.
Let me know what products readily available with you to sell, I can get demand for your product there at your home town Bellary itself.
This is an classic example that how Farmer can acquire/loose the value in the present market system for their products.
Unless we rule the situation, the system will rule us.
If any one can think to do some thing, nothing is impossible for human efforts including sales of own products under own brand.
1st stage of production is OK, But what is the 2nd stage i.e. marketing?
A Farmer cannot restrict himself the his job is over after production of crop is over, he should step in to marketing also for getting good returns for their hard efforts not less than 60 months and above.
You have not mentioned that for what produce was sold at average Rs.13.
Wishing you all the best.
Farmers Associations could be a cost effective way-out which could establish systems for registration/monitoring and Certification or Verification or Endorsement of the farm produce as natural or organic.
Keeping in mind all these ‘pros and cons’ of present expensive and tedious certification systems available, We some like minded nf followers and nf lovers have set up a NGO called ’ ORGANIC LINKAGE ON_LINE MULTIPURPOSE ORGANIZATION ’ . Here the organisation shall have its own registration, monitoring and certification procedure which shall have it’s OWN GOOD_WILL and over a period of time it will be a BRAND IN IT-SELF.
CSA ( community supportd agriculture ) could be another way out which could be further extended to AGRO_ECO TOURISM .
In short one has to find a way out either from traditionally available ones or has to set up a new one with collective efforts.
I vote for certification by collective efforts. May be if you can list the role of each member of the group, it will be great.
This will also help in free flow of info about zbnf/organic between the members.
Thereby help in flourishing/spreading the zbnf/organic
Looks like you are lucky. I found an article for you and here it is.
Members of the Indian Natural Farmers Organisation tell Subha Rao how native cows and natural farming techniques help them run sustainable farms
Native Kangayam cows, the grassy smell of fresh dung, a tangle of trees, creepers and shrubs, yellow and white butterflies that flit about the grass, the shrill cry of peacocks… that’s R. Shanmugham’s seven-acre farm for you. He is a farmer who has gone back to Nature.
Shanmugham is a member of Indian Natural Farmers Organisation (INFO), a Coimbatore-based group that follows the Subhash Palekar method of farming, which calls for zero external inputs. The nourishment for the vegetation comes from jeevamritham, a mix of dung from Indian cows, old cow urine, non-hydrose native jaggery, cow pea flour, a handful of earth and water.
Three years ago, Shanmugham spent as much as Rs. 50,000 a year on fertilisers and growth boosters. His Ramasamy Gounder Thottam in Saramedu was labour-intensive but looked neat and weed-free. “I did not realise then that a farm does not have to be neat; only the house must,” he laughs.
N.G. Prabhuram, among the first few farmers who spearheaded this movement in Coimbatore, points to the butterflies and says they have almost disappeared from regular farms. “Butterflies, dragonflies, earthworms and red-and-black bugs are proof that a farm’s eco-system is thriving,” says the farmer, who is on a mission to popularise native cattle breeds.
It is the same story at the five-acre farm of S. Gunasekkar in Chithiraichavadi. This is a model farm for sustainable cultivation. No space has been wasted. Husks are arranged on the ground around coconut trees to protect the soil from harsh sunrays.
Elsewhere, a thick layer of mulch covers the ground. In the midst of the coconut grove are other trees, yam, ladies finger and thattai payir. Anthuriums grow amid the husks and lend a dash of colour. It all started in 2007 when local farmers attended a seminar by Subhash Palekar in Dindigul. “Till then, we were caught in the vicious cycle of fertilisers, pesticides, growing costs and low returns. We’d all forgotten what farming really meant,” confesses Prabhuram.
Says Shanmugham: “A farmer is not supposed to poison the land that feeds him and many others. But, that’s what we were doing by applying pesticides. Now, I see such a difference in my farm. The birds are back and I am able to make a living out of just farming.”
All of them use jeevamritham in different ways. Shanmugham and Prabhuram let it into the water channels that surround the farm, while Gunasekkar mixes it with the well water. All of them believe that the cow is central to a farm. “One cow produces enough manure to take care of a 30-acre farm,” says Prabhuram, who has two cows — Geetha and her calf Mighty Raju (girs) and Lakshmi (Kangayam). These farmers learnt other things along the way. They found out that marigold, when planted along with tomato plants keeps root-boring worms away. They learnt that one beehive placed for every half-acre of coconut grove increases chances of pollination and gives a better yield.
Natural farming understands the importance of earthworms in the farm. “Experts say that earthworms have burrowed 20 feet below the earth. We have to bring them up by keeping away pesticides. Nothing else can nourish the earth the way they do,” says farmer J.R. Vinayan. “I see the difference in the quality of produce. I once left a tomato out six whole months. It only shrivelled like old people do; it never rotted,” says Nirmala, Prabhuram’s wife.
This farming method promotes inter- and multi-cropping. “You can plant as many as 40 varieties in one acre. It follows a terrace pattern. Trees with big leaves/fronds get maximum exposure to the sun, followed by smaller trees, shrubs and creepers,” says Nachimuthu N., Secretary, INFO.
The farmers realise that to get more people to accept their system, they must taste its fruits. They have decided to retail their farm produce. They sell turmeric powder, cold-pressed coconut oil, puttu maavu, cane sugar and hand-pounded rice. “Now, we’ve decided to come up with a Year Crop Planner for members of our organisation, to avoid duplication of products and offer variety to customers,” says Prabhuram, who runs the Mani Naidu Natural Farm.
This, they hope, will also give farmers the upper hand when it comes to fixing rates. “When a farmer knows his price is assured, he will be a happy man. And he will not exploit his land, they say. “And why should we exploit land?” asks Prabhuram. “Where else can you sow one kg of seeds and get back a thousand kilos?”
Get in touch with INFO at 93645-15839 or 90251-63636.
Getting a natural and organic farming certification is not expensive, says Prabhuram. At the Coimbatore-based Tamil Nadu Organic Certification Department (TNOCD), charges start around Rs. 2,000.
At S. Gunasekkar’s Muthu Guna Organic Farm, amidst a thriving coconut grove are guava and papaya trees, pepper vines, agathi keerai, red sandal, rosewood and more. “The first two years were difficult because, though I followed the methods of Subhash Palekar and Nammazhvar, I made some mistakes,” says Gunasekkar, 46, who now has a sustainable farm. In the space among every four coconut trees, he raises 17 different trees. He also grows ginger, maainji and turmeric. Because of the mulching, jeevamritham and earthworms, he has not ploughed his land for three years. His Kangayam cow Deivanai provides the dung for the nourishing mixture.
A small outlet outside stocks produce from his farm as well as from his friends’ certified organic farms.
The proliferation of trees has changed the farm’s micro-climate. “It is at least three to four degrees cooler than the surrounding area,” says Gunasekkar. “There are more birds, we have more helpful insects and ants that attack pests. They have dealt with 75 per cent of the problems farmers face. All I do is sow and harvest.”
Getting a natural and organic farming certification is not expensive, says Prabhuram. At the Coimbatore-based Tamil Nadu Organic Certification Department (TNOCD), charges start around Rs. 2,000.[/b][/color]