This is more of a shout-out that a full on post. A friend of mine from grad school recently relocated to India. Instead of doing what most of us would do and join a big company in a managerial role, he decided to open a cool speciality food superstore in Chennai. Not content with starting Gormei Market, Sriram and his friends have embarked on a very interesting road trip that traverses through much of South India in search of organic farms.
With the shout out done, here is my 2c on the topic of organic farming in India. I firmly believe that with the burgeoning Indian middle class and a neglected agricultural economy getting shafted in favor of an IT economy, there is an excellent case to be made for organic farming. The better quality of produce will significantly improve the kind of vegetables that will be made available to people willing to pay a premium for it. It will also give a big jolt to farmers currently feeling left out of a growing economy. It also offers an excellent alternative for people willing to do things differently. A vibrant local produce market can significantly enhance the overall quality of life in that area.
As someone who lives in sunny California (relatively speaking), one of the best things to be enjoyed here is the abundance of farmers markets. I wrote about it a few months ago and can only talk highly of the experience that is shopping at these local produce communes. I would only love for this experience to be part of an average Indian’s lifestyle. So if you want to know more about this particular experiment, follow the folks on Twitter or on Facebook. It is an interesting road trip not just for the folks doing it but for everyone reading about what our country has to offer in the next big revolution in farming.
P.S. This is purely a voluntary shout out because I am excited to read about organic produce and farming in India. Sriram did not ask me to write it. I am doing it just because I think it is cool.