Jatan is a non-profit Trust whose mission is to help people anticipate and address future environmental problems. The emphasis is on organic farming, also known as ‘Sajiv Kheti’. We work with farmers and consumers to help them understand the links between natural resources, organic farming and health, and be the change maker.
Jatan interacts with a cross section of society – school children come for practical lessons on organic farming; house wives learn about health and organic food; farmers learn why organic farming is required and how it can be practiced; agricultural scientists so that their work addresses the research needs in organic farming; even politicians and policy makers to frame appropriate policies.
Jatan endeavors to fulfill its mission primarily by engaging in educational activities like farmers’ camps, seminars, newsletters, books, leaflets, exhibitions and films.
Brief snapshot of JATAN’s activities:
Development and Publication of Educational Material: Jatan has published varieties of books on organic farming and organic food. A few sets of exhibition posters are developed on the same subjects, some of them are translated in to Hindi, English and Marathi. An audio cassette on songs on organic farming and a video documentary on a successful organic farmer are prepared. A monthly on organic farming is also a part of Jatan’s routine activities.
Organic farmers’ meet: Jatan has been successfully organizing state level meets every two years since 1999. A farmer can register by giving 5 kgs of any grain s/he has produced to participate the event. Dozens of voluntary organizations and individuals have volunteered their wholehearted services. The event made “sajiv kheti” well known to almost all farmers in Gujarat.
Food festivals of organic products: Organic food for thought and stomach: About 50 volunteers from Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhuj participated in first of its kind food festival at various locations. Ready to eat food like pau-bhaji, kathaiwari dish and dal-bati were served fresh. The festival got an opportunity for farmers to do direct marketing as well as interact with customers. One section was devoted to screening films and display books on environment, organic farming, naturopathy and sustainable development.
Farmer’s visit to organic farms: Seeing is believing: For the past 5 years Jatan has been facilitating farmers visits to organic farms maintained by grassroot organisations both within and outside Gujarat like Deccan Development Society (DDS) and Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in Andhra and Chetna Vikas.
Organic products: A pack of “Tur dal” being brought by a housewife at Jatan’s outlet is not just grocery, but a message for sustainable living. Organic products like these are interesting tool to educate the urban consumers. Jatan runs two organic outlets on no-profit, no-loss basis. 80-90% of retail price goes to the farmer.
Consumer Tours: The consumers and producers hardly ever get to meet on one platform. To bridge the gap between the two, Jatan organizes field trips, where the urban consumers visit the organic farms and processing units.
Campaign opposing GM Crops: Jatan believes that the way GM Crop coming to Indian Agriculture, could repeat the same story of Green Revolution. Jatan has organized various dialogues with scientists, farmers and ministers to help them understand the issue.