Consumption of unhygienic food has been taking a toll on the health of the people who are unable to get fresh food despite being ready to spend money on it.
The increasing use of chemicals in farming has been leading to severe diseases among the consumers and the situation is worse in the cities where pollution has been adding to the woes.
A section of farmers in Bengal have started organic farming with an aim to provide farm fresh food to the people. But they often find it difficult to find right kind of buyers for their produce.
Development Research Communication and Services Centre (DRCSC), a non-profit based in Kolkata is on a mission to ensure food and livelihood security for rural poor by connecting the farmers with the consumers in search of organic food.
With this aim in mind, DRCSC has been organising Safe world festival every year to bring farmers and consumers on one platform and create awareness on organic and healthy food, “People in Kolkata are exposed to harmful chemicals in food items which are affecting their health. They are not consuming right kind of food while farmers in eleven districts of West Bengal are doing organic farming but are not getting right market for their produce. We have organised the fair to bring the buyers and sellers on one platform so that they can know each other and do business,” said Sujit Kumar Mitra, Programme Head, DRCSC adding that his organisation works on sustainability model.
“We are also trying to make use of the waste products and recycle them into productive items for farms or daily use,” he added.
Several farmers from various districts attended the three days fair(Jan31-Feb 2) that was inaugurated by senior Trinamul Congress leaders Sougata Roy, Purnendu Basu and other dignitaries at Kalitala Playground in Baranagar.
There were 33 stalls in the fair where chemical free and safe food products along with handicraft items made after recycling were displayed.
The farmers that attended the event admitted that training from DRCSC in organic farming has brought a change in their lives, “The training has brought a significant rise in our livelihood. We learnt to do farming at a lesser cost and enhance our income. I used to earn around Rs 12,000-14,000 a year but after the training my income has increased to 18,000-20,000 per month. Our fish has a demand in local markets. Our fish has a good growth and tastes well,” said Basudev Hazra, a fish farmer from Labhpur in Birbhum district of Bengal.
Besides, DRCSC is also helping in women empowerment in Bengal by building women entrepreneurs.
Rakhi Das from the same district said that training by the non-profit has not only enhanced her livelihood but has also helped her to stand on her feet, “I used to do poultry farming and earn around Rs 5000 per month. But chicks suffered from diseases and died which led to severe losses. I took training from DRCSC and resumed poultry farming in 2017,” she said, “I took preventive actions like vaccinations and other measures and applied them in the farming. The casualties dropped. My income has increased to Rs 10,000 per month and I have opened my own poultry farm of around one-thousand chicks.”
The organisation has already changed the lives of over 30,000 beneficiaries in Bengal.
58A Dharmatola Road, Bosepukur, Kasba.
Kolkata – 700042
Landline – 03324427311
Keywords: DRCSC, Organic Farming, Birbhum, Poultry, Fish
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