“Co-creating” and “Collaborating” are imperative for a Rurban community to thrive. Should it be confined within the community walls? Not actually. Inter-dependence and co-existence have been the keys of human survival and sustenance.
Since the ideation stage, Organo Naandi was never only about the internal community. It was always about the lives inside and outside our perimeters because we believe that the goal of sustainability can be achieved only when the whole community agrees to it and works together to build it.
If we look from the agriculture/food angle of this scenario, the chemical cultivation practices in the neighbouring villages had a huge impact on the ecosystem. The soil health was so poor that they had to use tonnes of chemical fertilizers to balance it. The urea rich soil and crops attracted more pests and diseases. When they became uncontrollable, more chemicals were sprayed unethically causing further damage.
The dangerous thing about excess chemicals is that it can spread even farther than we can imagine as it can spread all over through air, irrigation water, rain etc. This could deteriorate the soil health drastically, affect the air quality, contaminate water bodies and so on.
Sooner we realised that building organic farms inside our community is not enough but there have to be collective efforts from others as well for a sustainable living experience. Our research showed that the lack of awareness and resources are major causes that motivate farmers to cultivate more chemically. To address this fundamental issue, we had to educate them, train them, and encourage them to practice non-chemical cultivation.
With time, they themselves started realising the difference through their improved health, crop yield, better profits, etc. and tried to convert fellow farmers to practice similar methods.
Naturally, this helped us in terms of better air, water, and soil quality and we were able to get farmworkers from the same village to help us with farming inside the community. What we are currently witnessing is the growth of individuals and communities together with a collective belief in sustainability as the way forward.