Punjab, once known for rich fertile lands, is facing one of the most serious environmental health and ecological crises created due to excessive use of pesticides since the Green Revolution. This project is aimed at strengthening the role of women in providing nutritious, healthy, diverse and safe food to their family through organic kitchen gardening and creating platforms to share and promote traditional knowledge on conservation of environment. The project is slated to begin work in three villages in Faridkot district.
- Building a strong women’s movement against pesticide toxicity of food by growing safe, healthy and nutritious food for the family through organic kitchen gardening.
- Creating awareness about harmful effects of pesticides on health and environment and developing the practice of preserving seeds from the produce for the next season.
- Encouraging knowledge sharing on traditional and nutritional food varieties and mobilizing participation of more women via Nav-Trinjans (a self-help group sort of platform) and an annual Bebe-Di-Rasoi (food festival).
- Over 100 women from four villages have signed up to participate in this program.
- In February 2012, Nav Trinjan festival was conducted in Karirwali village in Faridkot (dist) where more than 350 women and girls actively participated and prepared millet based food varieties, women collectively spun thread from a charkha and sang traditional songs. This festival to celebrate Millets and diversity in food crops was organized by the village women.
- Women were trained in recognition of friendly insects as well as harmful pests and in preparation of various natural decoctions to protect vegetables from unwanted pests. They also visited the farm of an organic vegetable farmer and learnt about preparing kitchen gardens for vegetable cultivation, different kinds of vegetables suitable for growing in their backyards.
- Some of the participants in this project were landless labourers and also did not have have a backyard to practice kitchen gardening. However other women participants offered a piece of their yard to jointly raise a kitchen garden without the persuasion of the coordinators of the project.
- Seeds for growing vegetables such as pumpkin, gourds, cluster beans, lady’s finger, tindora etc were distributed to the women participating in the project