In India, the seed marketplace is often manipulated by the middleman, making it impossible for local farmers to secure their harvest from one year to the next.
Enter Sahaja Samrudha, or Bountiful Nature, a Mysuru-based startup fighting to ensure seed sovereignty for farmers by fixing pre-determined prices for their produce.
Originally developed as a farmer initiated to exchange ideas, seeds and share knowledge on sustainable agriculture, the company now has 98 varieties of organic rare seeds of crops in its repertoire, and counts 480 members, including 58 seed producers or farmers, drawn from places such as Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Mandya, and Bengaluru Rural.
Conceived to protect cultivators’ collective interest, Sahaja Samrudha promotes open-pollinated seeds that are organically cultivated, patent-free and are in the public domain.
The farmers can use them for free, instead of having to use the seeds coming from multinationals and Indian companies who only supply hybrid varieties that contribute to create mono-culture, therefore, threaten India’s agricultural biodiversity.
Sahaja Samrudha main objectives are –
- To promote sustainable agriculture and create awareness on the need to conserve natural resources and traditional knowledge systems
- To conduct on-farm research and standardize sustainable agriculture practices
- To capacitate Farmers, Panchayat representatives, Non government organisations, Government Officials and Policy planners on sustainable agriculture and natural resource management
- To assist in implementation of sustainable farming techniques to farmers and grassroots organizations, in the process of converting their land into organic farms,
- To disseminate information, research outcome, knowledge and thought on sustainable agriculture and natural resource management through publications and audio/visual materials
- To facilitate procurement, marketing and sales of organically produced products
It’s a win for the producers, the consumer and the environment.
Reference- The Beam, Cleantechnica, Sahaja Samrudha website