At the heart of Askayakalpa Organic is our community of rural farmers. Our initiatives are designed to keep their needs and interests in mind, to help them create a stream of stable and sufficient income for their families. Our Farm Extension team empowers farmers with resources – technological, mechanical, financial, and academic – which allows them to prioritize the quality of milk and health of their cows. A happy farmer leads to happy cows which leads to clean and safe milk for our consumers.
This farmer-first partnership brings with it some astounding results:
Year of Association with Akshayakalpa
The farmer was a defaulter, although he was repaying the loan to bank. There was a loan waiver scheme announced by the government, but for some reason, other farmer’s loan got cleared his family’s loan did not.
Nagaveni and Rangegowda started with 5 cows and were producing 50 litres/ day, Whatever the family earned in the farm they started investing back slowly. With the support of Akshayakalpa, today they have 20 cows and are producing on an average 140 Litres/ day, adding a tremendous increase in their overall gross income.
Year of Association with Akshayakalpa
For Prasanna Kumar three years ago, there was no yield of coconuts at all and the farmer was hardly growing any fodder. All 120 coconut trees were dying due to lack of water and proper manure.
Today we see coconut trees full of bunches which could yield at least 10,000 coconuts this year and also farm full of fodder and fodder trees. The farmer, with help from Akshayakalpa, is pumping slurry to the entire farm that gives enough manure to keep the fodder trees and coconut trees smiling throughout the year. On top of that, the farmer is producing over 150 liters of healthy milk on daily basis.
The practices at Akshayakalpa farms are based largely on the principles of circular economy and co-existence farming to reduce our ecological footprint. Simply put, it is the interdependent relationship between the cow-dung –the soil – the fodder –the milk –the income generated – the farmer family and the farm. We encourage localization of all resources – wherein the day-to-day requirement of the organic farm is met by the farm itself.
A product that has served its purpose should be a part of a new cycle of use. For example, the cow-dung produced by the cows is put through a bio-digester to produce methane gas. This gas is used by the farmers to run machinery and equipment or within the kitchen. The residue sludge is converted to the slurry, which adds to the fertility of the soil at our farms.
The slurry also prepares the soil to sustain bio-diversity. Each of our farms is home to an assorted range of crops to increase the bio-diversity and the family’s food is grown on their very land. This not only provides an additional source of income to the farmer but the ‘waste’ from many of these crops is reused in other ways. Coconut husks, used as mulch, find their way back to the soil as fertilizer.
Through our Akshayakalpa initiatives, we provide farmers with end-to-end technological know-how and guidance to ensure the produce– including the fodder grown for the cows – is cultivated without the use of chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or herbicides. Because of this, the quality of soil is restored over time, leading to healthy and nutritious produce and milk, the goodness of which is passed along the chain of interdependence.
Innovation is a priority at our Akshayakalpa Organic model farm. It is here we continuously strive towards the betterment of our practices and towards a healthy future for all our consumers. Currently, we have developed and are researching into practices like ‘raised bed farming’ and ‘bee-keeping’ at our 25-acre organic farm, which when implemented by other farmers will be an additional source of supplementary income and an increase in biodiversity.
At Akshayakalpa, we strive to achieve the balance between the two wheels of agriculture – Ecological sustainability and economic sustainability. This is how we create conscious farmers who care about the consumers’ health and their ecological impact while maintaining the integrity of the land!