What is Krishija?
Krishija is an alliance of farmers and farming enthusiasts whose objective is to ensure that food sovereignty is not lost and food diversity is promoted.
It is not an NGO or a profit-making entity.
The Krishija store is a platform created by farmers to bring their naturally produced pure, unadulterated, poisonous free-food directly to the customers.
The price of the produce sold through Krishija is decided by the farmers. The city-based retail outlet charges a 10% service charge for arranging sale. Other than this, all the profit from sale goes directly to the farmers.
The Krishija store is located at Lake Market, 104 Rashbehari Avenue, Kolkata (in association with Rainbow Holdings P Ltd).
What does Krishija sell?
Green vegetables, spices, cereal crops like rice, wheat, millets, fruits and eggs to start with. In course of time milk, milk products, poultry meat and other meat will be sold.
Eggs are of indigenous free-range hens and ducks which are not treated with antibiotics or production enhancement chemicals.
Milk products are from indigenous cows.
All the products are made so that cottage-level employment is generated in villages and women are empowered through opportunities of earning while making the pulses, spices, collecting eggs, raising hens and ducks etc.
What makes the food at Krishija so special?
Everything at Krishija is organic. However, while we do pledge to remain organic, that is not our only focus. Our attempt is to preserve traditional agricultural methods and practises with the aim of leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Over the last 50 years, the agro-diversity enjoyed by our forefathers has been lost due to the onslaught of select hybrid vegetable seeds. These hybrids require heavy chemical fertilizers like urea, super-phosphate etc. and protection through a multitude of laboratory-produced and often poisonous pesticides. As a result, our nutritional needs are now not fulfilled by the food we have and a new market of food supplements has emerged.
For meeting the nutritional needs of the human body hundreds of varieties of vegetables, cereals and fruits have been provided by nature in wide form and adopted and cultivated by man.
The food of our ancestors were grown with natural ingredients in natural, sustainable atmosphere in harmony with nature. Seeds that have been developed by farmers over hundreds of years have traits that are best resistant, hardy and tolerance to our climate. It is these seeds that need to be propagated to make food for us.
Fertilizing with the use of organic material like cow dung, leaves and farm waste enriches the soil and whatever is taken away by the growing plants is replenished.
Krishija wants this food to be regularly available to the consumers so that consumers have the choice of eating nutritious, poison-free food on daily basis and not occasionally. Because Krishija is supported and run by farmers, it is the correct supply line of food to ensure that it is regularly available.
What makes Krishija’s food different from other "organic" produce?
When something is certified as organic, it means that the land has been tested and proved to have no chemical fertilizers.
However, the test does not prove that the seed is also organic (and not hybrid) and that no pesticide has been used. No producer tests every crop for complete organic certification - lands, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. Hence, the whole concept of organic certification is at best an incomplete process.
Krishija brings together farmers who have been cultivating food through traditional organic methods for decades. They do this because they know no other method of cultivation except organic.
It is the strong and well-known bond that ensure that products of Krishija are organic. No new farmer can join the Krishija platform unless he is peer reviewed and there is a local evidence of his farming organic.
Where are these farms?
About 100 farmers are part of Krishija. In West Bengal they are in the districts of South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Nadia, East Medinipur, West Medinipur. Farmers from Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Kashmir are also part of this collective