The Deccan Development Society (DDS), an NGO working with farming community, particularly women in protecting the traditional crops and farming practices, has taken up one more initiative – ‘Organic Medak’ – to promote cultivation of vegetables and fruits the organic way. The activities so far were confined only to organic production of millets and crops that would now be extended to vegetable and fruit production. The DDS women farmers are currently working in four mandals – Jarsangam, Zaheerabad, Raikod and Nyalakal. The activity would now be extended to three more mandals – Munipally, Kohir and Manoor.
Initially, the plan is to implement ‘Organic Medak’ by roping in about 400 farmers to cultivate on 1,000 acres land with a target of expanding it to 5,000 farmers and 10,000 acres by 2017. In addition to the existing crops that are being cultivated organically, the DDS has been planning to introduce mango, banana and guava fruits to the basket of organic produce. Different leafy vegetables like brinjal and tomato would also be added to that later. According to P.V. Satheesh, Director, DDS, they have planned to develop the area as production, consumer and service hubs. While production of various farming produces like paddy, maize, sorghum and different millets, vegetables and fruits will be taken up under production hub, offering training to farmers in organic cultivation and guidance will be taken up under service hub by Krishi Vignan Kendra (KVK) in association with DDS.
Under consumer hub, the main focus will be on Hyderabad where large market is available to sell the produce. At the same time, focus will also be laid on Zaheerabad and Sangareddy. Collector D. Ronald Rose, who is interested in promoting millets and who formally launched ‘Organic Medak,’ visited the farms being cultivated by women farmers and examined their practices.