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Organic Farming

DLR Prerna believes that organic farming is a way of life. A way of life, which empowers individuals explore their capacities within existing natural systems and resources. It is also an approach to life, which is communitarian and based on self-reliance. It also promotes diversity, knowledge and conservation.

Going Organic has implications at all levels: individual, community, state and international community. Acceptance of organic farming as a way of life at the individual level is the core of going organic. The individual and the community needs to be completely committed to the organic way of life as it is a cyclic, continuous process with a belief and trust on the natural process of interdependence and the web of life. This commitment is of utmost importance as the organic lifestyle depends on the individual responsibility and creativity.

DLR Prerna promotes going organic by translating the concept into individual and community action. Capacity building as well as logistic support to the individual and the community is provided. The organisational role is extended to the marketing of the organic products by enabling linkages. The issues of organic certification, fair trade labelling is also facilitated.

Organic farming is a constant evolution of the natural farming systems incorporating cutting edge scientific research, which goes beyond formal learning systems. The ultimate aim being the birth of a proactive scientific farmer who is constantly evolving and improving systems and the knowledge base. This evolving systems and knowledge base is multidirectional and based on dialogue, learning and sharing from each other.

DLR Prerna undertakes capacity enhancement of the individual farmer and the community. Capacity enhancement on improved farm management, which includes soil, crop, seeds, livestock, and water management is facilitated. The management system the farmer develops is integrated within all the resources of the farm. Capacity enhancement also implies the change in mindset of the farmer from a static subsistence one to a dynamic, creative and evolving farmer and farming community. The intervention is based on improving on the life experiences and resources of the farmer and the community. It is focused on increasing community learning, sharing and interdependence.

Access to the organic market needs certification of the products and the processes. Certification with the help of a largely accepted certifying agency is of utmost importance to gain entrance and acceptability in the organic market. DLR Prerna has an MOU with IMO Control India, an organic certifying agency.

DLR Prerna working with the small and marginal farmers, develop systems of internal control systems and internal regulation systems of organic farming code at the farmer and the community level ensuring community ownership and responsibility. It also reduces the cost of certification as external inspection time is reduced. DLR Prerna has been pioneering capacity enhancement programmes on ICS and IRS for small farmers in the Darjeeling Himalayas.

DLR Prerna believes that organic farming cannot be promoted in isolation and integrates it with other community interventions.