Organic Farming & Kitchen Gardening
To detoxify the ecology of Punjab and to make the state a pesticide-free region, KVM has propagated organic farming across Punjab since its inception. In the last few years, hundreds of farmers have adopted natural farming. KVM undertakes a variety of activities to educate, sensitize, & train farmers for organic farming through Workshops, Seminars, Farmer Field Schools and Participatory Resource Appraisals.
KVM seeks to revive our local traditional seed varieties and actively promotes their production. KVM motivates farmers to save their own seeds and then use those seeds in farming practices. As a result, many farmers are now saving their own seeds. For this, KVM has provided them a great deal of indigenous seeds from different states of the country like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh etc., and this holy work is ongoing.
Women Action for Ecology, (WAE) a branch of KVM, encourages women to start growing vegetables in their kitchen gardens. "Feed your children with poison free safe food" is the slogan of this campaign. It begins with making kitchens poison-free: free from that food which is grown with pesticides and other agro-chemicals. Through this campaign, women are motivated to start small kitchen gardens to grow seasonal vegetables organically. This initiative is also ensuring more diverse and safe food for the new generation of Punjab. From its beginnings in two villages, Chaina and Bhotna, this campaign is now slowly spreading to nine more villages. A key dimension of this campaign is the conservation of native diversity of vegetable seeds. In the era of IPRs (private patents on seeds) it is important to have our own seeds in our own hands.
KVM works to enhance the biodiversity in the fields. For this it encourages the farmers to adopt an intercropping crop system. This increases the soil fertility and diversity of food. Intercropping offers farmers the opportunity to engage nature's principle of diversity on their farms.
KVM organizes regular workshops and training on natural farming practices. KVM provides training on the following topics:
- Natural farming
- Conservation of seeds
- Inter cropping farming system
- Millets based farming system
- Non-pesticide management
- Chemical-free kitchen gardening
In the last eight years, KVM has provided extension services to the farmers. For this purpose, more than 4,000 village level awareness meetings and farmer field workshop were organized across the state. More than 15,000 farmers had participated in these workshops and meetings. At present, more than 2,500 farmers are practicing natural farming in association with KVM. These farmers have adopted various natural methods of soil nutrition management, pest management, crop management and water management. The Natural Farming experts associated with KVM also update beginner Natural Farmers with the latest technological information and new farming practices.
KVM also works to revive food heritage in the Malwa region of Punjab. For this, it is working to promote the use of millets like Bajra, Jowar, Makki, as they are very nutritious and part of our traditional food habits. KVM organizes “Bebe Di Rasoi”, a traditional food based festival to promote millet based food habits every year.
This is another big achievement of KVM-- that we have successfully established so many of common people/farmers as local resource persons on different environmental, agricultural and health issues.
KVM is also generating awareness about the negative effects of GM crops on soil, environment as well as on health. KVM also creates awareness about the effect of these crops on their seed sovereignty.
To impart knowledge about agricultural practices, current issues about environment, agriculture and health, KVM has started its bi-monthly magazine named ‘Balihari Kudrat’ in Punjabi.