SMDT has started a farmer’s awareness campaign to promote organic farming in Shrirampur taluka of Ahmednagar, from February 2013. Around 1000 farmers from about 35 villages in Shrirampur will be addressed in the campaign conducted over a period of three months. The fresh organic produce will be sold to Mumbai households directly in a “farm to fork” model.
SMDT is a 63 year old NGO working in education, malnutrition, animal welfare, environmental conservation and livelihood empowerment in Shrirampur taluka of Ahmednagar. Organic farming is the need of the hour, not only for its health benefits but mostly for the less stress caused to the environment.
Excessive use of chemical fertilizers, excessive irrigation and improper crop planning has stagnated our agricultural yields over the years. While, chemical farming has reduced crop yields for the farmers, the consumer too is forced to eat food with pesticide residues as there is hardly a choice of healthier foods. Organic farming today is barely 2% of total agriculture in our country and it will only grow in the coming years”
 Over the past three years, SMDT has grown organic vegetables over its farm land. “By developing a farm to fork model, SMDT has successfully established a model where the farmer gets a major portion of the amount that the consumer pays, unlike traditional marketing practices” Traditionally, the farmers get anything between 10-50% of what the consumer pays depending on the produce and markets.
“Scalability is the most important factor that affects the organic food pricing today. Unfortunately, high prices have deterred health conscious buyers from buying fresh organic produce. With our model, this is bound to change” to help attain mass scale vegetable and fruit production in Shrirampur.