Permaculture in Indian Agriculture
Traditionally, Indian agriculture has had an innate sense of responsibility towards society. Ethics in farming were passed on across generations in the form of various customs and cultural practices. Prior to the colonial era, most Indian villages were significantly self-sufficient and self-reliant communes.
After various wars and famines, the concern for self-sufficiency in food grains and the emerging influence of chemical agriculture, brought in the ‘Green Revolution’ in independent India. Since then, the traditional practices have been eroding.
However, even today, there are some elements remaining of the old systems, like the tremendous diversity in agricultural production, animal integration and seed saving. With timely efforts, we can build on these foundations to revive ecological practices. This is what Aranya Agricultural Alternatives is working towards with small and marginal farmers, especially women, in vulnerable conditions such as degraded lands and rain-fed farming. We see our role as facilitators helping them bring modifications gradually that are feasible and affordable within their existing context.
Our focus is on addressing hunger, nutrition and access to resources. We facilitate diversity in crops, nutritional gardens, tree-based farming, seed sharing, educating farmers on permaculture practices, participatory water management systems, alternative energy options and watershed development.