Good Businesses 2013

Farm fresh

I Say Organic sells chemical-free produce at affordable rates to boost demand and encourage organic cultivation

Photographs by Vishal Koul

Picture-perfect paddy fields, mofussil stores selling kitschy Katrina Kaif-churning-buttermilk posters, gyms, schools, tractor, car showrooms and fertiliser shops dot the landscape as we drive into village Khedi Sikander in Haryana’s Kaithal district. If the Green Revolution transformed Indian agriculture in the 1960s, here, in its birthplace, another change is coming along. “You see the paddy there,” says Rajesh Kumar, one of the farmers who meet us outside a farm, “and look here”. He points to crops in two separate fields, separated by a mini canal. “That one is so much blacker than what you will see on this farm here. That’s because of pesticides…” he trails off. Kumar is trying to explain to us the difference between organic farming and larger-scale, chemically sprayed one and also why the former benefits farmers, not merely consumers.