The Sustainable Agriculture, Forest and Land (SAFAL) aims to revive and strengthen traditional agriculture practices, while recognizing the identity and contribution of women farmers. SAFAL is motivated by environmentally friendly practices and the preservation of traditional knowledge – these principles inform the program’s engagement with the farmers. Updated farming practices and increased knowledge of sustainable, organic practices would holistically benefit Kangra farmers.
Green Leaf Organic Market Since its inception, the SAFAL Team has worked with approximately 1200 families to introduce vermi-compost practices for use of organic manure in their kitchen garden. In 2011, the team organized 45 of these farmers to formalize their organic practices and create a collective of organic farmers. Their produce is being sold at McLeod Ganj through Green Leaf. To learn more, please visit greenleafproduce.wordpress.com.
Forest Festival The SAFAL team in collaboration with the other teams, conducts a two-month long Forest Festival each year. Our themes in the past have includes using re-thinking the use of plastic and its effects, as well as water conservation. The yearly event is part of the Jagori Rural Expansion Program, which reaches out to college students, farmers, women’s and the youth collectives, the local media and the bureaucracy, as well as the larger society. The terrain of activism in the past has included workshops with children of ten schools on the importance of conserving water, filing a petition to the Panchayat against cementification of perennial water sources, production and distribution and airing of multi media educational material such a films, radio programmes, news letter ,leaflets etc. – all focusing on the issue of water crisis.
Activism Various activities were conducted with 1000 school children in order to make them sensitive towards environment issues. Street plays on global warming have been performed in 5 blocks of Kangra district. Environment awareness rally was organized in Dharamshala town in which 400 (representatives of NGOs, Forest department and Block office, SS and women collectives) persons participated.
In collaboration with forest department herbal plants were distributed in 25 gram panchayats thus covering 5000 people. This was extensively covered by the news media. The organic farm at TARA has begun producing vegetables and fruits. The excess production is being sold in the market.
VPO Rakkar Sidhbari, Tehesil Dharmsala, District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh 176057