From this in April 2009… to this in April 2012
The Saha Astitva Eco-Farm is located near Ganeshpuri, within the Tansa River Valley, 30 km to the east of the Arabian sea and close to Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The farm started in 2009 on a piece of barren land that had lain unused for many years. The land is likely to have been a forest within the last 100 years. The farm is on the edge of Reserve Forest in a tribal area.
Saha Astitva supports the ancient Vedic way of farming, based on natural principles, rich in heritage and unique in identity. To achieve these principles, the Eco-Farm focuses on preserving the natural environment while restoring agricultural lands, We consider the forest, as a balanced ecosystem, a model for the farm. The Sanskrit words ‘Saha Astitva’ mean co-existence and in our case the harmonious integration of agro and forestry eco-systems and human habitation.
General Aims of the Saha Astitva Eco Farm
- To be a model of natural organic farming (demonstrating conversion from a barren land) and sustainable living: self-sufficient and selling surplus crops leading to economic sustainability. To incorporate eco-design, renewable energy, efficient water and waste management practices
- To encourage environmental resource provision (e.g. water, trees, soil, clean air).
- To inspire regeneration of the area through green livelihood creation: training in organic farming and value added food processing, low level eco-tourism and sale of village crafts, cottage industries and forest-based jobs. See section on Green Rural Development
- To research high value crops that maximise earning potential of small-scale tribal landholdings
- To create chemical-free foods and medicines and provide access to high-value markets for clean organic food and medicines, particularly through co-operative approaches
- To bring together like-minded non-political NGOs in a shared vision and inspire action
- To inspire and encourage the education of holistic environmental management and personal development for local children, the community and a broad range of visitors as well as offering cross cultural exchange See section on Organic Lifestyle
Farming knowledge is gained from dedication to the land, which cannot come from a book but from hands-on experience and work with Nature.