Looking for a Better World

Part 7/8

The Adventure of Organic Rice

It took a long drive to leave this area of Kerala where everything is so green, where the plants, trees and flowers are so big. We drove toward the coast, avoiding as much as possible the traffic of the main cities like Kochi and Trissur. Going north, I noticed how the landscape would change: rice paddies and well-planted fields appeared. Finally we arrive in Sadivayal, Tamil Nadu–another Amrita SeRVe village.

The coordinator, Sreeni, was waiting for us. He described the condition of the village a year ago. Agriculture could no longer feed families and then, with the consequences of inactivity, alcohol, conflicts, and violence arose.

He talked a lot with the villagers and gave them the idea to grow organic rice. A fruitful negotiation: the villagers said yes to the experiment.

Together, they put in some money to make the necessary purchases and they opened a collective bank account. Next, they learned how to practice organic farming with organic pesticide and fertiliser.

The students of Amrita University, from the nearby Coimbatore campus, gave a lot of advice and support. The farmers were both surprised and happy when they saw the crop they got. Much more than expected. And to be sold at a very decent price.

In the eyes of men, now, there is some pride, and sometimes a glimmer of joy.

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