Organically Yours: A farm-to-table initiative
The newly launched initiative ‘Organically Yours’ seeks to encourage organic farming, healthy life changes, and introduce youngsters to the nuances of agriculture
Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna and SEED (Social Economical Environmental Developing) Foundation have collaborated to launch ‘Organically Yours’, a people’s movement aimed at encouraging organic farming and making healthy lifestyle changes. The initiative is an ongoing effort to educate Goa’s young generation on the nuances of agriculture and healthy farming practices and to encourage them to take up farming as a profession.
According to David De Souza of SEED Foundation, the initiative was set up with the aim of creating “a platform to connect with the grass root level of society”. The main focus of the initiative is to support Goan enterprises and encourage locals to produce locally, while providing healthy products and services to the public.
Most lifestyle diseases that are common today stem from mindless consumption, he says. “The food we consume is laced with an excess of fertilisers, pesticides and chemicals. Our food has naturally lost its taste so we add tastemakers and other harmful additives that adversely affect our health. We then consume medications – every morsel of food we have is accompanied by a pill,” he says. He adds that while human beings may be medically fit, they are not holistically healthy. “By following new lifestyles, we destroy life in the process. Through, Organically Yours we want to restore our forefathers’ traditional lifestyle and create a healthy state, a healthy society and a healthy individual,” he states.
Since the launch the response has been overwhelming, says David. In order to cater to the demand methodically and ensure an uninterrupted supply of organic and healthy produce, Organically Yours has initiated a community membership programme where registered members will have access to fresh organic local produce grown in the farms at Don Bosco College of Agriculture at Sulcorna. Registered members will be intimated about the availability of freshly harvested produce on a regular basis. Interested members can collect the produce from collection points located at Margao and Panaji. Members will be entitled to a supply of organic farm produce from Don Bosco Agro farm, Sulcorna – be it dairy, poultry, piggery, vegetables, fruits, coconuts, etc. The produce will be available for collection fresh off the cart devoid of plastic packaging which in turn helps reduce waste.
A tour of the farm in Sulcorna and its facilities was recently organised for the first 100 registered members of Organically Yours programme. Members were oriented on the best practices employed at the institute by students and faculty members.
The concept was supported by Radisson Blu Hotel and saw the GM Victor Soares along with his team in attendance. Executive chef Mahesh along with his team created a special menu which features fresh produce sourced from the farms at Sulcorna.
Director, Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Fr Allwyn says: “The Don Bosco College of Agriculture is committed to imparting knowledge of the highest level to its students and empowering them with the necessary skill sets. Organically Yours which has been launched in collaboration with SEED Foundation is another step in that direction.”
Looking ahead, David says: “We plan to set up a bio-fertiliser unit in the college premises so that we can supply biofertilisers and biopesticides to farmers within Goa. We also plan to set up a state-of-the-art International Research and Development Centre at the college where we can introduce international faculties and robust scientific techniques to improve agriculture in the state.”