Green Action Week (GAW)
Green Action Week (GAW) is a global campaign held every year in October. This year it was held from Oct 2 to Oct 8. Under the aegis of Consumers International and Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Consumer Voice was one of the 40+ civil organizations in 29 countries who participated in the Green Action Week Campaign. Consumer Voice has been part of the this campaign for four years.
- To create awareness among consumers regarding benefits of organic food and engagement towards organic food.
- To provide a platform for consumers to buy organic food at reasonable prices without profit making motive.
- To help and motivate identified group of farmers to continue their activities in organic farming and bring new farmers in the fold.
- Demonstration of organic food through workshop to provide exposure of organic food to end consumers and help to farmers to meet and explain to end consumers.
- Farmers identified in different states who are presently growing organic products will be able to demonstrate to other farmers in the village a sustainable profit model to bring them in the organic field and also eliminating middleman.
Approaching the local leaders and convincing them to facilitate women training sessions and working hands-on with farmers and their families was one of the major challenges. Another was the fact that change is possible only if the end-users or the consumers are also made aware of the malpractices of conventional farm produce and goodness of organic produce. So, we widened our audience to urban communities as well.
We had a two-fold approach – on field activities and off field activities
On Field Approach
We identified and approached various villages in Delhi/NCR based on wider scope of training aspect, training need analysis, scope of replication of Training of Trainer session (ToT) for farmers through Kisan Ghosti models. To reach out to farmers and educate them we worked closely with the village panchayats.
In the training session experts from Development Department (Agriculture),Delhi Government and Department of Agriculture Marketing shared knowledge about various farming techniques to reduce dependency on chemical intensive farming and to adopt organic farming. Local MLA and Sarpanch addressed the farmers gathering to encourage them for adopting organic farming methods.
Women are the key to change so we organized special workshops for women, farmers’ families and local communities in Delhi with state partners to encourage them to adopt organic farming. We started with the basic farming unit that is a kitchen garden to make it more relevant and effective. During the workshop they were educated about benefits of kitchen garden how to prepare organic inputs for kitchen garden, pest control, about availability of organic culture, fertilizers etc. The workshops emphasized on the health benefits of organic farming. Consumer VOICE team personally visited them and made them aware how use of chemical intensive farming can adversely affect the health, soil and land of farmers.
Off –field Activities
Information on organic farming was disseminated with the help of posters and banners highlighting the benefit of organic farming and targeted towards a specific audience. The pictorial representation in simple and easy language appealed the audience at large.
- Active participation of the farmers in Training of Trainers session.
- Though farming in India is primarily male dominated, we had active participation from females in ToT sessions.
- The sarpanch, village leaders and locals of the targeted villages showed keen interest in the subject matter of organic farming.
- Women took tips on organic farming and how to have a kitchen garden with the help of expert advice and pamphlets which were distributed.
- School children also showed a keen interest in green farming and environment friendly techniques.
- Videos and online activities invited a lot of queries on organic farming.