The process of creation has always intrigued me and what better and down to earth (pun intended), than agriculture, to witness that live. Scientists and engineers have long worked in their white coats in sophisticated research labs to create and innovate technology for improving our lives. But the process of creation is as old as the universe itself. Nature shows its wonders of creation on a daily basis – walking beings in flesh grown from tiny cells and gigantic trees supporting ecosystems created from a single seed. Agriculture started somewhere around 10,000 BC but plants and trees have been feeding the world for millions of years.
Coming from a long line of farmers, I was always exposed to conversations around farming every time I’d visit my native village in north India. Rice, lentils, veggies, fruits - we had it all growing. Rabi and Kharif were the seasons they would talk about and not winter or summer. Coming from a big city, I’d always find it amusing that groceries weren’t bought but plucked from the backyard or picked from our agri produce storage room. Seeing a piece of flat land transform into a lush green heaven in matter of few months, was my summer break treat. I guess I’d have manifested back then that one day we would create an organization, the name of which would start with the word ‘Lush’.
Farming anywhere in the world isn’t an easy job but moreso for farmers in India who have to toil through blistering heat during the peak summer days, during which the Kharif crop is blossoming in India. Combine that with erratic rainfall, decreasing yields, ever increasing cases of pest attacks and the depleting biodiversity – farmers here would still brave through all the hardships to give us a plate full of food. I would always question the sustainability around this and wonder about the probability of future generations picking farming as their profession, till I started my career working with Organic and sustainable farming techniques which for me, had a ray of hope for combatting some of these challenges.
In our quest towards exponential growth in every sector, we have ensured that agriculture - the process of cultivating food, one of the most basic requirements of our survival, has transformed into artificial lines of chemical fed factories. Few questions were asked as to whether it should be the same way to grow food for us as it is to produce petroleum or steel. In the last few decades, we have moved away from our centuries old farming systems which have survived through time – the greatest sustainability test, to this!
Our vision behind Organikriti (erstwhile Lush) has been to step forward in a direction where we can bring back the age old wisdom of farming back to our farms. We want to enable farmers to grow in a manner which can help them sustain the hardships of time, withstand external climatic challenges and keep their soil and ecosystem healthy. We want to bring a more equitable farming system in place where a farmer’s daughter is willing to pick up farming as her profession of choice, where we don’t need to doubt the spoonful we eat about how it would be impacting our bodies, where the usage of Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid is only limited to chemical labs and factories and not onto our food, where a whole hearty meal enjoyed with a family brings only happiness and smiles and not worries around the nutrition we need and what we are getting!