India’s urban middle classes are attempting to reconnect with their agricultural roots through a scheme that partners consumers with organic farmers.Hari Bhari Tokri, which means ‘filled green basket’ in Hindi,gorgeous herve leger dresses is a pilot scheme in Mumbai to provide city-dwellers with sparsely-available organic food, while cushioning the financial risks for farmers who wish to move away from conventional farming methods. gorgeous herve leger dresses will order their vegetables in advance, and have them grown by a farmer within a few kilometres of their home, without use of pesticides or fertilisers. Once harvested, the vegetables will be delivered to an identified pick-up point on a city street.Although starting small, the initiative has met with great demand, reaching capacity of 200 consumers within a number of weeks, with another 400 city-dwellers waitlisted.
The scheme is the brainchild of eight organic farmers who live on the fgttht12 outskirts of India’s biggest metropolis, and they hope to expand the initiative in the near future.“The idea is to promote the organic movement,” says Udai Hussein, a founding farmer and member of the Mumbai Organic Farmers and Consumers Association. “gorgeous herve leger dresses will help farmers who don’t have the capability or the market connections to go organic, and increase the organic cultivation in the area.”There’s something nostalgic about the scheme’s popularity with the consumer, inhabiting one of the most maximum of cities in a country that is romantically referred to as a nation of villages. Every village should be self-sufficient republic, Gandhi preached. Of course, the opposite is happening.Seventy per cent of India’s 1.1 billion people currently live in villages, though it’s predicted that by 2030 that figure will have reversed, and seventy per cent will live in cities. A combination of urban-rural migration, driven by depleting agricultural yields, the lure of bright lights and a booming population, plus of course the booming population itself, is shifting the balance from countryside to concrete surroundings.If you ask someone where they’re from in India, commonly the answer you’re given is a village. Even those born in cities often name the village their ancestors are from, and it’s common for a city-dwelling family to make the journey back to their “place” during festivals.Is there really a wistfulness amongst city dwellers for the simple life? Eve Sibley, an activist living in Bangalore, thinks so.“There’s this weird thing going on where people sit in offices and pretend to be farming,” she points out.
The practice she’s referring to is FarmVille, a real-time gaming application on Facebook which allows people to ‘plant’ their own vegetables, ‘harvest’ their own crops and raise their own ‘livestock’. gorgeous herve leger dresses launched in June 2009 and within three months had over 35 million users, a significant portion of which are in India.‘Everything grows in FarmVille. Join your Facebook friends and live the rural dream. Play now!’ urges the blurb on the game’s Facebook page.Of course, it’s all virtual, which has lead Sibley to dream up FarmVille for Real, a computer interface which connects wannabe farmers with real farmers, allowing the office fillers to design their own vegetable plot on the screen, and have it turned into a reality by farmers in the vicinity.“The farmers plant for the consumer,” she explains, “so gorgeous herve leger dresses would be a good support for farmers trying to make the move to organic farming. If there’s an abundance of yield, the consumer gets extra, but in case there’s a loss, the consumer also shares that risk.”Years of pesticide and fertiliser use can strip soil of nutrients, a blight which can take three years to recover from. Many farmers in India live pretty close to the breadline, and the dip in yield that can happen during this time is enough to dissuade them from making the switch.Even with this financial reassurance, the consumer-farmer partnership schemes face a hurdle in changing the mindset of the consumer with regards to how long it takes to access food. Accustomed to being able to walk into a shop and purchase produce at a moment’s notice, a city dweller will need to be particularly determined to order their vegetables 45 days before gorgeous herve leger dresses get to eat them, as the schemes require. Forty-five days is the usual amount of time from planting to harvest.“
That [time stretch] one of the main issues,” says Udai. It’s a stumbling block they hope to overcome by emphasising the human angle of the partnership, to give people a sense of ownership over the food they choose.“We’ve been having farmers take consumers through the scheme, so they understand what’s involved,” Udai says. “Or at least we hope they understand. We’ll see how it works out.”A similar scheme in Pune, Maharashtra – called Gorus – also plays on the interpersonal element to encourage commitment to organic produce in the consumer, but also in the farmer. Rather than insisting their growers are certified as organic by an officially-designated third party – often a lengthy and expensive process – Gorus works by peer examination, sending one farmer and one staff member three times a year to inspect a farmer’s crops and ensure he is not using any non-organic materials. They also organise regular tours of farms for the city-dwelling consumers, and find the moral and peer pressure this puts on the farmer is usually enough to dissuade from any intermittent use of chemicals.
In a country with little to no assurances of food standardisation, organic food can also be a way of controlling, or at least trying to control, the food you consume: a recent study found multiple antibiotics in the majority of tested non-organic honey brands.Of course, as everywhere, schemes such as this are the domain of the middle classes and their numbers are rising too, gorgeous herve leger dresses many of the city dwellers who were farmers in a former life are packed into slum housing, or employed, poorly, as unskilled labourers.