Meet Neelam Dutta from Assam, India
“I am an organic farmer and deeply inspired by my late father. I farm to eat, barter and then sell. I am located in a village called Pabhoi in the District of Biswanath in the state of Assam in India and our food growing space is around 10 acres where we grow rice, fruits and vegetables. Growing food makes me very happy. The taste and health benefits are unbeatable and it gives me a deep sense of accomplishment.
We do a crop rotation of 7 years and basically rely on green manuring and we put a lot of compost and vermicompost. We have started biodynamic methods of farming as well. We also make cow urine based pest repellant with Neem and local medicinal plants.
We usually save our own seeds and we also barter among the local farmers and seed savers.
The biggest hurdle I am facing right now is storage and post harvesting facilities, because we are in a tropical climate and we can’t store our produce and seeds for long.
We have started the first organic farmers’ cooperative in our state and are working with women communities in two states of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh where we have trained them on seed saving and community organic farming.
There is no alternative to sustainable farming and we have to carve our own path against these big corporations by growing our own food and saving our own seeds.”