A non-profit teaches a soil education program to combat the farmer suicide epidemic in rural India.
By Tejal Heblekar, and edited by Eileen Mello
A few kilometers from the Bay of Bengal in the Indian state of Orissa, rural farmers have gathered around a microscope to see what lies hidden in the ground. The Hummingbird Project, an American based non-profit organization, has equipped a soil laboratory with a microscope and resources for visiting farmers to test the quality of their farm’s soil and learn specific organic methods for improving its health. Farmers are eager to use the lab resources to test their samples and excitedly look from the microscope to the computer, watching the enhanced images of microbes moving throughout the soil. Proud chemical farmers are shocked to discover their samples — white and chalky with synthetic fertilizer salts and residues and reeking like chemicals — have no biodiversity like that found in samples from farms employing organic techniques.
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March 21, 2013
The Hummingbird Project will be visiting Bloomfield College to discuss organic and sustainable farming as it impacts the global economy. The nonprofit organization trains farmers in developing nations on sustainable, earth-friendly organic farming practices
Members of the project will be at the college on Monday, March 25 to present to the Cultural Psychology class at 4:00 p.m. in College Hall 135. On Tuesday, March 26, the representatives will meet with the Green Hearts Movement members at the cooperative garden for a discussion on soil regeneration, composting and raised-bed gardening. At 4:00 p.m. that day, the members of the Hummingbird project will give a presentation in the Shelby Room of the library about their work in Africa and India.
The Hummingbird Project aims to create sustainable farming systems that strengthen communities by helping farmers get productive yields without having to resort to chemical farming. Working with Navdanya, a network of seed harvesters and organic producers in India, the Hummingbird Project trains farmers in techniques to keep their farms viable using available organic materials to grow crops without genetically modified seeds.
The visit is thanks to the efforts of Dr. Rashmi Jaipal, a psychology professor who uses her summers to visit social justice organizations around the world.
March 26, 2013
WISER, the Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable, will host its annual fundraiser dinner April 3. The event will benefit the organization’s adopted public school in Bangalore, India, through the nonprofit organization Soujanya Sevashrama (SEVA) and its international outreach program, “Nurture a School Annually.”
The dinner will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Thwing Center Spartan Room. Admission is $6 for students and $7 for faculty and staff.
Jaipur Junction will cater the dinner, which will feature performances by Dhamakapella and talks by Rekha Srinivasan (WISER faculty adviser) and Marilyn McHugh (co-founder of the Hummingbird Project).
To learn more about the SEVA international outreach initiative, contact Megan Milne at firstname.lastname@example.org.