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Greenpeace Launches Food For Life Campaign On World Environment Day

Greenpeace India tells the iconic success story of Kedia village in the Ecological Agricultural Revolution

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Feature story - June 5, 2016
05th June, New Delhi/Mumbai/ Bangalore : In the middle of the ongoing agricultural crisis devastating lives and fields across India, comes a story of incredible hope, from Kedia village in Jamui district of Bihar. On the occasion of World Environment Day, Greenpeace India launched its ‘Food for Life’ campaign, bringing the Kedia success story to urban consumers in three metros, in an effort to bridge the gap between farmers and urban consumers.

The Food for Life campaign is based on a ‘Living Soils’ approach; an attempt to fix the broken agricultural system, reduce chemical dependency, and restore soil health by focussing on replenishing the nutrient value of the soil with biomass-based organic supplements.
The success of this eco-agricultural model village Kedia was brought to life at the World Environment Day event through a film screening and a street play, followed by a panel discussion allowing the urban audience to thoroughly investigate this alternative way of farming. Following the Living Soils approach, farmers in Kedia have combined innovative science, traditional knowledge, and farmers’ own experiential wisdom to restore their soil and community health, and brought relative prosperity to the community by reducing their dependence on market-bought, chemical-based inputs while enjoying healthier yields.
“The ‘Green Revolution’ left behind a broken agricultural system, with farmers being forced to accept ever-new ways to exploit natural resources, not working in harmony with nature as they had traditionally done,” said Greenpeace campaigner Ishteyaque Ahmed, speaking at the event today. “Since 2014, when we first started facilitating this change In Kedia, we have witnessed the beautiful result of nature, farmer and the government machinery collaborating and coordinating with mutual respect. We are also seeing a renewed focus on farming naturally, increasing awareness of biodiversity and biofuels.”
“Essentially, through this project, we are bringing consumers in touch with those who produce their food, and encouraging greater cooperation in the path to progress. We are also promoting a largely self-sufficient model of sustainable livelihoods, which by eliminating the middlemen, is creating greater opportunities for the farming community to profit from their own efforts,” Ahmed continued.
Also speaking at the event, renowned seed saver and close associate of Vividhara and the Beej Bachao Andolan, Ajay Mahajan said, “For organic farming to succeed, there is a fundamental need for the food production system to be managed better by farmers and consumers. At present, there is scarcely any collaboration between farmers and consumers, and a direct, negative result of this dissonance is being felt on the soil, the fields, and on food security.
Rajkumar Yadav, one of the farmers from Kedia, also sent a message to audiences at the event today, “By making our own fertilisers and pest control medicines with organic, natural ingredients already available to us, we have been able to significantly reduce the input costs of our farming, but perhaps more importantly, we can rest secure in the knowledge that we – and you – are safe from the ill effects of the chemicals that would otherwise be used.”