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In aid of farmers and nature – Mrit News

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Volunteers of Belagavi’s Green Saviours believe that agroforestry serves the cause of farmers and environment

Volunteers of Belagavi’s Green Saviours believe that agroforestry serves the cause of farmers and environment

After planting over 50,000 saplings across Belagavi district in six years, Belagavi-based NGO Green Saviours is moving towards promoting agroforestry in the villages in the remote regions of the Western Ghats.

On a pilot, members of the NGO, all volunteers, have formed a network of farmers in Belagavi district. “Our teams work with farmers and plant fruiting trees such as jackfruit, mango, kokum, chikoo, banana, and guava along with arecanut, cinnamon, and nutmeg among their field crops. The interspaces are populated with vegetables, greens, and tubers. The method also incorporates other species of trees and plants to generate mulch and offer natural disease resistance,’’ said Sameer Majli, founder of the NGO.

The NGO procures the farm produce for sale in Belagavi and the entire revenue is transferred to farmers. In return, the farmers assist the restoration work by planting other native species on barren land in and around the villages. While work has commenced in three villages, the team will be extending the work to cover 20 villages in the Western Ghats by December 2022.

Mahaveer Upadhyaya, an industrialist who has been with the NGO since its inception, said that entrepreneurs among the volunteers have set up online sales platforms to sell produces from the farmers who have adopted agroforestry.

Since April 2016, the teams have worked for over 310 consecutive Sundays and planted over 50,000 trees. Anand Tapadia, a young lawyer who has been associated with the NGO since his school days, said, “Unlike my friends who watched TV or played, I went on tree plantation trips. That experience is irreplaceable.”

“We aim to provide solutions to supplement rural livelihoods and engage villagers in ecological restoration. Agroforestry offers an excellent solution to enhance the fertility of the soil through extensive mulching, reduces water requirements, and creates a more sustainable and diverse ecosystem on farmland,’’ Mr. Majli said.

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