Monday, 3 August 2020
Since 2017, women in the Sanghathan have been leasing agricultural land in order to engage in collective farming on a common piece of land. Apart from collective production and distribution of food crops, the attempt at ENS is also to engage in ecologically sensitive farming methods and techniques. This involves moving away from cultivation of high yielding seed varieties bought from the market (which have gained immense popularity, thanks to capitalist interventions of NGOs in the area) to sowing folk seed varieties that used to be part of traditional agriculture practice. Moreover, natural fertilizers and plant based pesticides are being used by ENS instead of chemical fertilizers (that are generally used by the farmers now) to ensure healthy food and ecologically sensitive agriculture and enable an ethical relationship between human and more-than-human forms- driven by care of the fellow being, soil, water, microorganisms that live in the soil, birds and insects snakes and frogs, crabs and fish, and everything else constituting the complex ecosystem, which helps nurture and sustain every other life form within it.
This year apart from rice cultivation we are also venturing into the production of finger millets and black gram on upland, where mostly cash crops like cotton and eucalyptus are being grown. Going against the tide and foregoing cash income incentives of cash crops, ENS has chosen to produce food crops for social and ecological well-being of humans and more-than-human others.