Maharashtra Organic Farming Federation (MOFF) was formally launched on October
by starting 22 organic schools in remote villages of Maharashtra. Today, they are about
250 in number.
But before the formal launch, a lot of thought and efforts have gone into it, including a large
number of deliberations, farm-visits, farmers' meetings and thousands of kilometers of traveling,
criss-crossing the state of Maharashtra, village after village, since 1999.It
was a sheer hard work, but whatever we saw was simply mind bugling.
MOFF has been created to give a potent common platform to a number of small NGO’s,
thinkers and the farming community in distress. Something that they could jointly own by
mid-nineties it was clear that something was going drastically wrong with Agriculture in
India, especially in the state of Maharashtra and some other states and the farmers
suicides had become the order of the day.
The think-tank of MOFF is a strong group of about 145 NGO’s and other apex council members
who range between the age of 20 years to 79 years, each of them, an institution in themselves.
Any decision is the outcome of the combined thought-process of all of us and therefore today.
MOFF has become a vibrant people’s movement. It is also a strong pressure/ advocacy group of
the farmers, by the farmers and for the farmers.
MOFF treats 2nd Oct, the birth anniversary of the late Mahatma Gandhi as its founding
Every year a new programme is initiated on that day. First year, it was the Organic Schools
and last year it was the Vidarbha Farmers Suicide Prevention Mission which is a grand success
wherever the MOFF team could reach, there were no suicides. This year on the agenda are two
very ambitious projects. They are as follows:-
(I) International Institute Of Sustainable Agriculture (IISA):- A world class Institution
which will impart training in the following aspects :-
(a) Capacity building
(b) Training of farmers
(c) Product on farm inputs
(d) Nutrition management
(e) Paste management
(f) Seed production
(h) Animal husbandry
(i) Number of income generating activities for small /marginal and resource
To facilitate these activities and training in low cost agriculture IISA shall create awareness
at the State level, the National level and the International level. IISA shall also conduct research on
the farmers fields to be jointly monitored by the farmers and the Scientific Community so as to facilitate
the low cost and sustainable farming. IISA proposes to get participatory R & D work, in a state-of-the-art laboratory, the designing of which has already begun.
(II) Gramdoot Scheme (Village Ambassador):-MOFF propose to appoint, after taking a regular examination
(with 65% as bottom line passing standard) about 600 gramdoot in the state. Each of them would be converting
about 1500 farmers in the 1st year and hike up the space in the subsequent 5 years. Gramdoot would be paid
regularly on a monthly basis. They will also eligible to get bonus depending on their performance. Their would
be a tight chain of command at all levels. The selection process has already begun.
Completing the target of 1750 organic schools in state is our top most priority. These schools need to
be equipped with Training facility, Residential accommodation, Internet connectivity with latest information
in the organic world, seed banks and adequate literature in local language, the processing units, relavent
to that agro climatic zones. MOFF endeavors to make each of these schools as Virtual Universities.
A minimum of 9 lakh farmers in one year and many folds of that in the next five
years are expected to benefit as the scheme has the strength to multiply in geometric proportions due to its highly accurate design.