When 29-year-old Nasari Chavhan took to the stage at the Organic World Congress (OWC) – an international conference dedicated to organic farming – held on the outskirts of Delhi in the second week of November, it was little expected that the diffident young woman andan Adivasi (tribal) from the interiors of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, would end up as one of the prized speakers at the event.
Chavhan is a farmer from Akola, a district known for two things: cotton production and farmer suicides. The suicides are caused by an endless cycle of debt, drought and low yields. And as with all other agricultural families from the area, Chavhan’s father was deep in debt when she took over his farm.
About seven years ago, she attended a workshop on biodynamic farming organized by SARG Vikas Samiti, a non-profit organization that promotes biodynamic agricultural systems in India.