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On the APOF Organic Certification Agency (AOCA) Organic Certification for an entire village

In May this year India’s national accreditation body, the APOF Organic Certification Agency (AOCA) certified Gati as Rajasthan’s first fully organic farming community covering all its 290 farm families and their village fields. Since AOCA approval is globally recognized, Gati crops and products can now all be marketed internationally with this prestigious organic validation.
The organic farming work at Gati Jaisamand headed by farmer consultant Pannalal Patel and supported by our organization, Big Medicine Charitable Trust plus Jagran Jan Vikas Samiti and the international Presbyterian Hunger Project is a small step towards systematic work with women farmers and their family to revert to petro-chemical free farming & food security. The following article in Udaipur's online newspaper Udaipur Times gives details on the project and its organic certification process. We welcome your thoughts and comments:

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Such steps are the need of the time and require encouragement from the Environmental Crusaders. We need to break lobbying of the pesticide and fertilizers company to revive our cultural ethos of agricultural practices. 

Dear Dr. Mehra: We could not agree more with you. Certainly a positive outcome of encouraging & reviving desi/organic agriculture is the non-use of petro-chemical additives in the fields. We are also excited about the fact that women are our active partners in the farming project ... as has been demonstrated repeatedly, women's concerns are fundamentally tied with the health of the community and the next generation. Additionally, our work will also draw the attention of the next gen towards ecological farming and re-affirm its importance. You already have extensive experience in motivating youth through the work you have done through RSNH  vis a vis restoring the Green Munia habitat in Mount Abu/Rajasthan. We look forward to your input and advise .... Warm Regards

Really wonderful to hear this.  This is the way to go for all our villages.

Thank you Ms. Sharma, we could not agree more. We are of the premise this is the way villages in the sub-continent and elsewhere on the planet need to go. There are obviously great benefits to organic/desi agriculture ... the women in the Gati village that just received the Organic certification remember clearly the robust health status of their grand-mothers as compared to their own when they shifted to synthetic agriculture additives to support and protect their crops.... health & nutrition was indeed one of the reasons for them to revert back to older methods of farming. It is to be seen how well the current infrastructures will support our shift .... we are acutely aware that any long term change in ways of farming will require a mental shift of policy makers, consumers and in the market.... we look forward to continue to grow our network of cohorts that have pragmatic inclusive ecological solutions that make good-sense for future generations.... With warm regards ....

This is a very promising and exciting precedent!

Congratulations to Rita, David, Pannalal and all the community members of Gati village - especially the farmers!!!

Warm wishes and gratitude from the United States,

Thank you Andrew, it is wonderful to have like minded international cohorts who believe in the importance of organic & ecological farming. The Gati women farmers are convinced about the health benefits from organic and their traditional ways of farming. It is important that the market understands its importance too. We know that it will take the entire society and over arching system to support the conversion to organic ....

I think the Paryavaran network has provided a wonderful platform to ecologists, technical people, farmers, community workers, policy makers to interact and come up with pragmatic interventions that will point us towards a healthier, bio-diverse and sustainable future.... Thanks again for your part in  this direction ... with the warmest regards, 

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