Till a few decades ago, most people in India grew vegetables and fruits in their own gardens. Then something changed. We shifted from ‘farming for food’ to ‘farming for money’. The start of the ‘green revolution’ meant that production increased but so did the farmer’s dependency on chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. This shift in farming – from lifestyle to livelihood – also resulted in women keeping away from most farming decisions even though they were involved in the various tasks of sowing, reaping, harvesting and filling up the granaries. They aren’t called ‘farmers’ and they don’t benefit from training on farming concepts and schemes. But some women in villages in Alipurduar, West Bengal have managed to change this for themselves.
Self-sufficient farming gives women in Alipurduar food, health and confidence! At a time when chemicals have virtually replaced nutrients in food, women in this tiny area of West Bengal are growing food in a natural way – a method that is not just organic but uses ways to combine nature’s cycles and elements, creating a complementary ensemble. This is a way in which plants, animals, insects and all the elements of nature come together in harmony and leave little waste. Read further to know how they achieve this.