“I’m born of this soil. Putting poison in the soil is like poisoning one’s parents. Why would I harm myself like this?”, says Adi Kumurka. Kumurka belongs to the Panga Kondh indigenous community in Odisha’s Rayagada district. His community is engaged in mixed organic farming from traditional seeds. This is the traditional way of farming that his community has practiced since untold times. But there was a long gap in between when malnourishment and farmer suicides compelled these traditional farmers to migrate to faraway places to look for jobs. What changed?
With help of local organisations, the Panga Kodhs have gone back to traditional, organic, mixed farming methods. Even the forests are benefiting.