Timbaktu Organic was initiated in 2005 in association with Adisakthi, Ananthasakthi and Mahilasakthi Mutually-aided Thrift Co-operative Societies (MATCS). The goal of this venture is that the small and marginal farmers of the area improve their livelihood on a sustainable basis using organic farming.
Registered in March 2008, under MACS Act, Dharani FaM CooP Ltd., is a federation of sanghas and a producer owned business enterprise, promoted by the Collective to help with the post-production processes. It procures, stores, processes and markets its member’s produce under brand name Timbaktu Organic.
The Collective believes that smallholder farmers need to start engaging with the market, not as weaker opponents, but from their so far unrealized strength of collective numbers. Farmers usually negotiate with the market as individuals. In a globalised era, this is not possible for smallholder farmers. They could grow good food and husband their soils individually, in the best ecological traditions, but they would need to come together as collectives to aggregate their produce, process and sell it in the larger market.
By growing, processing and marketing organic food, smallholder farmers would be able to reach out to the ever-growing demand in niche markets. But most importantly they would be able to heal their lands, bring back the cattle, sheep and goats into their lives and farms, increase the productivity of their lands and earn more from their animals. They would eat better and grow what was right for themselves, their animals and their land. This would lead to food security and food sovereignty, for the country and for the farmer. It would mean increase in productivity, total seed sovereignty, less water consumption, low capital and energy costs, more bio-mass, more livestock, multiple and varied crops, multiple livelihood options, good food and good health for the producers and the consumers.
HOW WE WORK?
Undertaken through small holder farmer sanghas and their federation, Dharani FaM CooP Ltd., the members are supported in all aspects of pre-production, production and post-production operations. Most important of these is the re-education of farmers in organic agricultural practices through Farmer Field Schools (FFS), classroom trainings, peer group assessments and exposure visits. Along with this, farmers are supported in land development as well as soil fertility enhancement. The farmers are also supported to acquire Hallikar breed of cattle, which while ensuring access to quality cow urine and dung (much needed for the preparation of organic fertilizers and pesticides) also provide draught power and milk for household consumption.
The programme also ensures that all crops produced by the member farmers are grown organically using the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) of organic certification. This in turn ensures that the farmers get a premium price for their produce. In addition to PGS, the Institute of Marketecology (IMO), an international organic certification agency, issues farmer members organic certification.
Please visit: http://timbaktu-organic.org for more info