The Organic Fair held on Sunday at Mysore Horticulture Society premises in Lalbagh Botanical Garden saw a huge crowd. Organised by the Jaivik Krishik Society, nearly 40 shops were put up by individual farmers, farmers' organisations and women's self-help groups from across the State.
A wide range of food items like vegetables, fruits, pulses, millets were on sale. Surprisingly, most of the stuff were sold out within a few hours. Nearly 25 varieties of vegetables and fruits, 45 varieties of millets, pulses, cereals, coconuts, spices, condiments, and cosmetic products were on display.
Fruits including banana, sapota, guava, papaya, and gooseberry, vegetables ranging from beans, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, tomato, potato, and ginger had large number of buyers. Fruit jams, honey, jaggery, organic sugar, organic tea, pickles, chutney powders, syrups, health drinks, mushrooms, sugarcane and other items succeeded in grabbing the attention of the customers.
Nagappa, a hardworking farmer from Haveri district felt happy as he sold ragi and other products. “I have been growing nearly 40 varieties of ragis along with other pulses in organic way for the last five years. As there is a great demand for organic food, I am earning profit,” he said.
Most of the millet products brought by Nagaraj, another organic farmer, were sold out within a few hours. Nagaraj says that working in a field is fun for him. “After knowing the benefits of organic farming, I started cultivating it that way. These days many people are aware of it and we have a great demand for home-made products made out of millets,” he gushed.
“I read somewhere that organic products are safe, healthy and nutritious. They are tastier and have natural aroma. They minimise the risk of cancer, heart problem, allergies, respiratory and stomach problems. Being health conscious, I purchased rice and some vegetables here,” said Shubhada, a consumer.
Krishna Prasad of 'Sahaja Samrudha', Organic Farmers Association of Karnataka opined that the fair provided a platform to bring the organic producers and consumers together. “Through this 'mela', we saved the poor farmers from the clutches of mediators,” he said and added, “we had different kinds of rice on display - diabetic rice, herbal rice, medicinal rice, scented rice, red rice and many more.”
The 'Organic Fair' was organised as part of Kisan Swaraj Yatra, an outreach effort, which started at Sabarmati, Gujarat on October 2 and will end at the Rajghat on December 11.