The assignment started with documenting ‘rural livelihood projects for excluded communities’ in India supported by Change Alliance. What we saw amazed us. It definitely demanded more than ‘documentation’. There are inspiring experiments and practices going on all over India, in every eco-region by small and marginal farmers. On the other hand, the only story the Indian middle class knows about agriculture is that farmers commit suicide. This has perpetuated a negative image about agriculture among opinion makers. All of this is bad news.
We wanted to turn the ‘documentation’ into a pop narrative about heroic small and marginal farmers all over India. Their knowledge about plant life is larger than they are given credit for. These smart farmers are keeping themselves out of market-based-inputs to achieve independence and lower input costs. This means smart integration of agriculture with livestock, poultry and fish farming. These practices are ecologically sustainable, though most of them do not call it ‘organic’. The good news is that ecologically sustainable practices are economically prudent too.
The project is still in progress, as we look to finalise the form of our product. Watch this space for updates.
We are lucky to have worked with some of the finest professionals in media and communication for this assignment.
Writers: Sopan Joshi, Subir Ghosh, Suguna Sridhar, Dheeraj, Ajit Panda
Photographers: Sayantoni Palchoudhuri, Poulami Dey, Janvi Karwal
Editors: Rajesh Jha, Suguna Sridhar
Video: Sambit Dattachoudhuri
Advisor: Sopan Joshi