Shabri farms in Sawai Madhopur: An organic oasis in Rajasthan

Motivational quotes written on benches greet you as soon as you enter Shabri Farms in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. They talk of hope in the midst of darkness and despair. What owners Shrilal Meena and Jaskaur Meena are doing on about 16 acres of their farmland is quite similar – insisting on organic produce and dairy when pesticides and chemical fertilisers are a way of life among most farmers. Interestingly, Shrilal Meena is no farmer. A former LIC official, he and his wife, a former district education officer, took to organic farming after retiring. They had a small parcel of land initially, but bought small pockets from other farmers to finally end up with 16 acres. Seeing the ghastly effects of pesticides and chemicals, they decided to go organic. The soil in the farm was upturned and fresh soil from nearby forests was spread on the farm. A few years later, they are a shining example for other farmers in the region.