Organic farming is gaining popularity in Kerala, India

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Devarayar Kotta village, Palakkad district – Recent 2007
1. Wide of water-logged field
2. Paddy crop in field
3. Wide of tractor in field
4. Various of planting of paddy saplings
5. Paddy farmer Nayakom and his brother going to field
6. Various of farmers working in field
7. Various of check dam
8. Various of flowing water
9. SOUNDBITE (Malayalam): Nayakom, Farmer:
“We did this to solve the problem of water scarcity. If chemical fertiliser is used, more water is required. In 2003-2004 we had to face hardships because of water shortages. We also suffered a lot because of a lack of drinking water. Shifting from cultivation using chemical fertiliser to organic manure will decrease the volume of water used. This is one reason for sticking to it – it will conserve water.”
10. Various of women cutting and collecting mulberry leaves
11. Mulberry plants
12. Wide of Remo, a farmer, feeding mulberry leaves to silkworms
13. Various of caterpillar feeding on mulberry leaf
14. Wide of lady’s finger cultivation
15. Close of plants of lady’s finger
16. Organic paddy crop
17. SOUNDBITE (Malayalam): Remo, Farmer:
“When you apply chemical fertiliser, the bacteria in the soil dies. Earth has life, and that life will be destroyed. The soil loses its ability to nurture a plant. If the earth is dead, there is no way out. For example, if you put salt (in the soil), it kills earthworms. If that is the case with salt, think of what chemical fertilisers can do.”
18. Wide of chemical fertiliser shop
19. Close of board saying ‘FACT; The Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited’
20. Wide of sacks of fertilisers and pesticides
21. Wide of Devarayar Kotta town
22. SOUNDBITE (English): Raveendran, Agriculture Officer:
“They can use organic manure or organic insecticides by themselves. They can also make use of animal husbandry and livestock. They can make hormones and a variety of products from the cow-dung, and we have given them the very best training.They are very much aware and they are interested.”
Thiruvananthapuram – Recent 2007
23. Wide of banner saying ‘Organic Bazaar’
24. Wide of women carrying vegetables to the organic bazaar
25. Various of vegetables
26. Close of poster saying ‘Save them, Use them’
27. Close of poster saying ‘Food Sovereignty In The Hands Of Women’
28. SOUNDBITE (English): Dr. Santhi, Consumer
“Organic farming which is viable for one thing, which is economically viable, ecologically safe and socially actually just…more just because it can give more employment to people, especially women. ”
29. Various of women buying organic vegetables
30. SOUNDBITE (English): Sreedhar, Coordinator, Organic Bazaar:
“There is a captive clear consumer market who are interested in this kind of product and that is increasing slowly because another sector of consumers who were not that aware, are becoming more and more aware and are asking and demanding, and then when the demand increases, slowly the number of farmers who are coming in and producing increases. So in the last three years from about five or six farmers, now it has grown to more than about 100 farmers.”
Kovalam – Recent 2007
31. Various of vegetable farming
32. Wide of woman carrying brinjals (eggplant)
33. Close of brinjals
India is fast emerging as a major supplier of organic produce to the global market for certified eco-friendly food worth over billion.
Now the south Indian state of Kerala is planning to tap into this market by converting all its cultivatable land into organic farms within five years.
In recent decades the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides has been common in India to increase productivity to meet the high demand for food crops.

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