With a rich history of agriculture and a large, growing population to feed, India is one of the biggest growers and producers of food in the world. With fertile, well tended soils and ancient knowledge based on traditional vedic farming methods, a wide variety of crops have been and continue to grow in different parts of the nation. The majority of farming in India is carried out by small scale farmers.
However in recent times, Indian agriculture has been blighted by drought, small plot sizes, a depleting water table, declining productivity and a lack of modernisation. Also, over-tilling and improper use of fertilizers have jointly caused previously rich naturally-fertilised soils to be depleted of their nutrient content. Crop failures and spiraling debts have resulted in an alarming rate of suicides within the farming community.
Several innovative companies have sought to find long term, sustainable solutions to this growing problem. One such company is Organic India. They were inspired to start their business by a mission and vision of supporting farmers to grow commodity crops using regenerative agriculture to restore traditional, organic farming methods. The first crop that was grown by the first farmer that the company’s founders worked with was tulsi (also known as holy basil). This was in the late 1990s…
Fast forwarding to 2019, Organic India has been through a period of organic growth and continues to support and work with a large number of small scale farmers. They grow a variety of commodity crops, as well as a range of herbs that are used to make tulsi-based herbal teas and infusions. These products are used and consumed in 40 countries, including India and the United States.
I spoke to Amy Keller, the director of education and head of new product development at Organic India USA, about her company and the work that they do. You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button below.