"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.”. -Thomas Jefferson
What is happening today?
With profound sadness all of us realize that this quote totally contradicts today’s reality. Agriculture in India is in deep crises; from creating misery among our farmers, degrading our soils to feeding poison to its populations including each one of us reading these facts. But the intention behind knowing this is not to feel threatened but to start thinking about collective solutions.
Beyond Organic, a brand new concept aims to address the critical issues in agriculture, food, market and sociological systems. Beyond Organic which expands to Consumer Farmer Connect envisages a holistic and dynamic partnership between Ecological food producers and you as an enlightened consumer. We are a co-operative of people who are striving to pilot this concept with a small set of like-minded urban consumers who care about their food, their soil and their farmers. These farmers follow traditional and ecological farming techniques overseen by experts from Deccan Development Society, a grassroots rural socio-economic change organization working in the villages of Telangana for the last two decades.
3 Simple Steps
WHY BEYOND ORGANIC?
What makes agriculture unsustainable and destructive is its transformed nature from biodiverse to monoculture and from organic to chemical ways of farming. The word ecological goes beyond 'organic' something that all of us are in blind pursuit of today. While 'organic food' just emphasizes on absence of chemical substance, 'ecological produce' puts together the vitalities of life for a healthy existence, and most importantly it upholds the law of nature such as biodiversity. Biodiversity contributes to soil health which essentially transforms to healthy, nutritious dietary diversity where as organic can't promise such wide range of holistic benefits.
Why Women Farmers?
There is an inseparable relation between Women, Nature and Food.As a mother she always thrives to fetch and feed her children with the best food possible. Similarly such has been her care towards nature and every life around her.
It has been observed across the cultures that there is a fundamental difference between men and women farmers. In terms of their interaction, expectation and care towards the mother earth. While men chose to grow commercial crops expecting monitory returns, women always chose to grow food crops so that she can bring her home the food for her children and family and fodder for her cattle. While men try to extract maximum from soil, women pledge to retain the soil health and cares to feed the other life around her farm.
What do you mean?
You as an enlightened consumer will not approach this partnership as someone who is greedy after good organic food only to save you and your family health. You will rather enlarge your need for organic food into an ecological vision of being in partnership with the Daughters of the soil (small women farmers) and their efforts to ecologically produce that you need.
WHAT DO I GET?
While you as an urban consumer will expect from these farmers to keep alive the continuous supply chain of safe food, they as people who toil on their soil day in and day out expect from you to reward their labour with a fair compensation both in monetary terms as well as in terms of your appreciation and share in food production process.
Detailed product list
Apart from whole grains, you can also avail millets in a number of delicious and ready-to-eat ways. You have options ranging from instant Pongal mixes to a pack of sugar-free millet cupcakes. Check the whole list out below.
How will the produce reach me?
Available through the year
The produce will be available for you to pick up after the first harvest season which is typically in Oct around Dasara. And will be available for a period of 12 months starting then.
Monthly pick up
We recommend you to pick up your produce in the first week of every month, preferably during the first weekend. If you cannot make it then, request you to contact the DDS Disha store in Tellapur before pick up.
The produce will be stored and processed at Zaheerabad and will be transported on order basis to the store in Tellapur. You do not have to worry about storing more than a month worth of items in your homes.
We recommend that you place an order for the products you need at least a week before your pick up time. This is to ensure processing, transportation and stocking of your items.
The best part about this is that you have paid for all the food that you will consume through the year. We plan to maintain a register with your balance details. So you can walk in and royally pick up your produce, sign in the register and leave without paying. How cool is that?
Choose Your Plan
Pick-up at the DDS shop
You can collect the Produce from DDS-Disha shop at Tellapur at specific dates throughout the year. The produce will be available after the harvesting month. The price you get is about 20% less than the regular sale price at DDS-Disha shop at Tellapur.
Note: You can also take byproducts instead of the whole grain as listed above as per individual item's cost.
You can directly visit a centralized pick-up point at Zaheerabad and collect directly from farmers. DDS will facilitate this meet and consumers are expected to carry their own bags
Your own home
Home delivery can be arranged at an additional cost.
You might have more questions. Here are the answers, hopefully.
Q: I am interested. Next what?
A: Thanks for taking the first step! Here are the next steps:
SBI Nallagandla account number
Disha women society
Account number = 37764000350
BRANCH CODE= 18559
Q: Can I visit the farms?
A: Definitely! We are striving for this initiative to be a true grassroots effort where each one of us get to participate in food production and connect with the farmers. We will arrange regular farm visits to Zaheerabad (100 kms from Hyderabad) where you can visit the farms, participate in the farming process and their festivities.
Q: How can I ensure that the products supplied are really organic and natural?
A: The farmers and their practices are scrutinized under PGS organic certification system then after they are permitted to supply their farm produce. PGS is a democratic system of organic certification that involves farmers to monitor one another’s farm. They check on the kind of instruments used for soil amendments, pest control, soil fertility and various other things. The close proximity of the farmers and the best interest of the group ensures that their group is completely organic. The usual organic certifying agencies are basically the 3rd party certification system which is not preferred by our small farmers as they charge exorbitant fees and can also be inaccurate because their inspection is one time and only dependent on records maintained by the farmers which excludes illiterate farmers from getting certified through this procedure.
Q: Is the produce supplied to me cleaned and packaged?
A: Thorough cleaning, grading and packing is done at the Millet Complex in the Pastapur village in Zaheerabad. This process also employs local women folk from the villages.
Q: What happens to my investment if the crop fails?
A: In the unfortunate and rare case of crops failing partially or completely, we request you to be hopeful and stay invested for the next season. It is extremely rare that there are crop failures in two consecutive seasons.
Q: I made an investment but now can't use the products because I am moving. Can I get my money back?
A: Usually, all the investment you make goes to the farmer and is invested in farming in the agricultural season. In specific cases where you can't consume the products that you invested for, do let us know and we will do whatever is possible in your best interest.
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