GREEN Foundation works toward a well-preserved, diverse ecosystem that will sustain the rural livelihoods of the present generation without eroding the resource base of the future.
We first began our work in 1994 with a handful of women in the small village of Thalli, South India, driven by the aim of empowering small scale and marginal farmers of the country. On 13th February 1996, shortly after our beginning, the Genetic Resource, Ecology, Energy and Nutrition (GREEN) Foundation was registered as a public charitable trust under the no. 906-95-96. Today, more than 15 years later, that handful of women farmers have grown in number to include more than 2460 families. These most cherished members of the GREEN Foundation family are at the forefront of the movement for sustainable agriculture and organic farming.
Our work with farming communities involves a multi-pronged approach that enables farmers to attain food security, economic security and, ultimately, autonomy. There are five aspects to GREEN’s work: economic, ecological, political, cultural and women’s empowerment.
GREEN Foundation aims to:
- Conserve local seed diversity, promote an increased reliance on biodiversity-based ecological agriculture, and use these as foundations for endogenous growth and development of rural communities.
- Create a gender-sensitive environment that enhances women’s leadership skills.• Contribute to livelihoods by creatively marketing “value-added” cultivated and wild agricultural biodiversity.
- Connect the natural elements—soil, water, air, sunlight, and seed—to ensure an abundance of nutritious food and other basic community needs.
- Continue to nurture community participation and assist in building robust community institutions.
We empower farmers to attain sustainability by providing them with training in sustainable practices that strengthen their economic security and ensure their independence from the financial strains of chemical farming. Conservation of agrobiodiversity and ecology, including soil and water conservation efforts, is also a major facet of our grassroots efforts. Campaigning for policy changes that protect the rights of farmers as well as protesting against legislation that threatens to take away those rights forms the political aspect of our work. We document and publish the vast amount of indigenous agricultural knowledge passed down through centuries in the oral tradition so that these sustainable practices are not lost to future generations. We also aim to highlight the role of women in Indian agriculture, initiating platforms that encourage the type of dialogue that bridges the gender gap still present in the sector.
We believe that at the core of India’s developmental issues are the nearly 250 million farmers who make up one of the largest agricultural labor forces in the world. Addressing our country’s poverty issues must, therefore, begin with addressing the plight of the Indian farmer.