This project is a CFCE-India’s response to few critical issues affecting lives in Kerala.
To start with, the state is becoming fast urbanized. A significant part of the food (vegetables and animal products) consumed are brought from outside the state and reported to contain harmful pesticides and hormones. The local people are less and less interested to do farm related activities and soil their hands. Most of the garden activities are depended upon out-of state labor. Those are the factors one has to consider when planning an Integrated Urban Multi-Farming project.
Hence the critical question to ask is whether something can be done to encourage urbanized homeowners with very little land and resources to grow their own healthy, organic food and market the surplus to neighbors, thus making urban farming a business?
CFCE-India is working on establishing an Integrated Urban Multi-Farming (IUMF) project. The idea is to develop a workable, easily adaptable small scale farming system suitable to the limited urban space available and go beyond the usual kitchen gardening? We will promote an integrated system of farming, encouraging the participants to raise a country chicken, goats, milk cows, other small animals, fish and the like along with vegetables. This integrated system which will utilize the available space to the maximum use. Such an integrated multi-farming will benefit the participant families to grow a good part of their own required HEALTHY food in their own home environment and control. At the same time, it will provide them a means to generate extra income if they produce surplus items by selling them in the community. An assured market to sell the surplus is the key to the success of this effort. Such an opportunity, if presented properly can make hitherto reluctant people to become enthusiastic participants in the project. That is another area we are working on.
CFCE-India wants homeowners, especially women homemakers to become converts to the idea: GROW OWN FOOD AND MAKE MONEY.
This will become an integral part of our effort to promote an Ownership Society, especially among women who are unemployed and “housewives”. This micro urban farming project will be an experimental one first, but once successfully implemented, it could become a model which can be taken up state –wide. That is our hope.
A significant element of this project- the model proposed, is to develop a Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) among the home owners, private business, government entities and CFCE-India, all working together to encourage and support the urban homeowners to become active “agri-preneurs”. Hopefully, the participants will be able to receive all the needed support services from the various government agencies, universities and research centers, banks and nonprofit support organizations, preferably as individuals as well as groups. The CFCE-India will serve as a facilitator and resource.