OFAI Managing Committee 2019-22

Rohit Jain, RJ:

Born and brought up in Udaipur, Rajasthan, a social entrepreneur is on a mission of connecting farmers from remotest villages to promote traditional and sustainable farming practices. He is one of the few to be a Software engineer who dropped the corporate job and started working with farmers from his homeland. Rohit believes that traditional farming is a way to improve the social economic inequities in the country and hence started creating awareness about health benefits of traditional seeds and food systems through his open space café on Organic – Banyan Roots Organics Pvt. Ltd. Since 2018, he serves as the Secretary of the Organic Farming Association of India.

Contact details:  +91-9783223520

Web: www.banyanroots.in

K.P.Illiyas, KL:

K P Illias, comes from Kozhikode district of Kerala. In 2002, he accidentally attended nature camp organised by Kerala Jaiva Karshaka Samithi (KJKS) and since then continued to attend different nature camps and Jaiva Karshaka Sangamams to have in depth understanding of organic farming and traditional food systems. He got interested in the organic farming and had an urge to contribute to the anti-pesticide movement. He himself had no land of his own to do organic farming hence he started organising nature camps, sangamams and help organic farmers in Kerala. He served as the youngest secretary of KJKS for several years. Since 2018, he serves as the President of the Organic Farming Association of India. Presently he is also farming 4 acre paddy land in Shoranur.
Contact details: +91- 9496149173

Web: www.jaivakarshakasamithi.in

Shamika Mone, MH:

Shamika Mone is a researcher turned organic farmer and entrepreneur originally from Maharashtra. She does organic farming on 4 Acres leased farm land where she grows traditional rice varieties and vegetables. Recently, she has also started a partnership firm called Naisargic Organic in Irinjalakkuda in Kerala to support organic farmers from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Kerala. She is now the elected Treasurer and the Managing Committee member. Her documented book, “ A Source Book on India’s Organic Seeds” was officially released in February 2015. This book serves to increase the accessibility and availability of these indigenous organic seeds for the organic farmers in villages as well as cities. In 2017 IFOAM World Congress in New Delhi, Shamika was now elected as the new Chairperson (President) of INOFO – Inter-continental Network of Organic Farmers Organisations – a self-organised structure for Organic Farmers within IFOAM Organics International.

Contact details: +91-8888862293

Web: www.inofo.org

Akash Badve, CH:

Akash Badve, a young intellectual originally from Nashik, Maharashtra, finished his graduation in BITS Pilani and got involved with Nirmaan – an organisation based out of the BITS Pilani. .After graduation, he got placed in Barclays, a 300-year-old British bank. Six months into this high paying job and Akash was already introspecting his career choice. That’s when he came across Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow Scheme (PMRDFS) — a government initiative that was already on the lookout for highly qualified candidates to monitor development activities in Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh state. In August 2016, Akash started Organic Farmer’s Producer Company named ‘Bhoomgaadi’ (Around 2000 farmer share-holders to the company) and brought together the farmers in the district to teach them sustainable agriculture practices.

Contact details: +91-9406489449

FB: @bhoomgaadi

Swaminathan V, TN:

Swaminathan comes from science background, with a post-graduation in Biotechnology and Post M.Sc., in Molecular Diagnostics from DBT. During his PhD in cancer biology he realized, that the excess use of agro chemicals, in the past decades, was one of the reasons for the drastic increase in the incidence of Cancer. He discontinued his Phd and got introduced to the organic and traditional seed movement happening in India. Since then he is working in rural India, along with farmers, promoting organic farming through indigenous seeds. While he was working with paddy farmers in the state of Karnataka he got introduced about the cotton history and the agony of cotton farmers across the Indian subcontinent and the maximum farmer’s suicides which had happened among cotton farmers. This intuited him to work with cotton farmers across the Indian subcontinent to document the different old world cotton. Since 2016, he is working with farmers in Dindugal district of Tamilnadu, through KASKOM, in promoting the indigenous cotton based multi cropping solving the bottlenecks in the cotton value chain and experiments on various range of fabrics that can be made out of Desi indigenous cotton.

Contact details: +91-9047775429

Web: www.kaskom.in

Devesh Patel, GJ:

Devesh bhai  and family are involved in bioorganic farming since 1992 in village Boriavi, in Anand district of Gujarat. They follow organic farming practice for the last 20 years and are recognized with National Organic Certification by NPOP Govt. of India. They are involved in biodynamic organic farming of spice, tuber, potato, ginger, turmeric, yam, elephant foot yam, chilli, wheat and some vegetables. They also process products for value addition by using a processing machine which they have innovated by themselves. The innovated machine has several advantages like it saves time in processing, it is not labour-oriented so it can work with very few labours and it requires no special skill to operate it. It saves time and money. He runs his own farmer brand as Satva Organics and has been awarded at several instances.

Contact details: +91-9824506878

Web: www.satvaorganic.com

Rajendra Singh Rathore, MP:

A humble organic farmer from Amba village in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh who cultivates multiple crops every season on 12 ha farm land since 1993, called Suraj Natural Farm and Biodiversity Conservation Center. With a graduate degree in Biology he was interested in rainfed Natural farming. He got connected with OFAI since 2009. He has written four books on organic farming in Hindi. He has been successful in making India’s first battery driven weed shredder device. And last but not least he has been active in bringing together around 50 devoted organic farmers in his region under ‘Prayog Pariwar’ to support each other and market the organic produce.

Contact details: +91-9754490525

Web: www.surajnaturalfarm.weebly.com

Asokakumar V, KL:

Asokakumar V, a retired teacher and active pillar of the Nalla Bhakshana Prasthanam (Good Food Movement), a local organic farmer-consumer Market in Ponnani, Kerala. He writes in periodicals on agriculture, environment, health and literature. He has published four books in Malayalam: The Green Revolution: the poisonous fruit of demons, The white rice that causes disease, Environmental work at home and at school, and the Disease spawning chemical fertilizer that was translated in English and published by Other India Press. He currently serves as the State Secretary, Kerala Jaiva Karshaka Samithy (Kerala Organic Farmers Association), Member of the Editorial Board of One Earth One Life Magazine and the Managing committee member of OFAI.

Contact details: +91-9747737331

Web: www.jaivakarshakasamithi.in

Sayed Ghani Khan, KA:

Syed Ghani Khan is an organic farmer who resides in a small village in Mandya district in Karnataka. His initiative is to conserve traditional varieties of Rice and Mangoes. On his farm he has about 115 varieties of mangoes being conserved and cultivated along with hundreds of rice varieties. The farmer hopes to reintroduce the lost traditional varieties and bring back the lost wisdom of our ancestors to this generation of farmers.

Contact details: +91-7892692713

FB: @syedghanikhan.irfan

Prem Singh, UP:

Prem Singh’s technique of ‘Avartansheel Kheti’, or ‘periodic proportionate farming’ has helped many farmers in the region to fight climatic distress. He also runs the ‘Humane Agrarian Centre’, an open university for young farmers to teach the principles of sustainable agriculture. Over the last 28 years, he hasn’t sold any of his produce raw, rather has value-added them and sold. He believes that farm-level value addition can help farmers grow their income multi-folds.

Contact details: +91-9415557444

Web: www.thehumaneagrariancentre.wordpress.com