To push and promote organic foods, over 500 women farmers and entrepreneurs from across the country have come together in New Delhi to showcase and sell their organic products directly to the people. The products include tribal and ethnic foods, millets, pickles, rice, pulses, spices and vegetables and fruits, fabrics, dyes and dresses, cosmetics and household products, in an exhibition, ‘Women of India Organic Mela. The Exhibition, with the theme‘Women and organic Products’ was kicked off on November 13 and it will close on November 23.
The Exhibition is attracting a large number of visitors at Dilli Haat. A unique feature of the exhibition is ‘Forgotten Foods’ like millets such as jhongora, ragi, kuttu, bajra, amaranth, etc which were earlier regarded as healthy foods eaten by all but have lost their popularity over time.
Some of the other organic products for exhibition/sale include cereals, oils, honey, tea, hair care, bath care, beauty care, aromatherapy products, organic cotton fabric, linen, organic seeds and bio products among others.Besides organic products, people also get an opportunity to taste a variety of home-cooked and organic food in the Haat.
According to the organisers, the main aim of the Exhibition is to support and encourage women and women-led groups which promote organic farming thus supporting local community’s economy, creating jobs and keeping farmers thriving in addition to spreading awareness about the benefits of organic products with the motto “Eat Healthy Live Healthy.”
While inaugurating the event, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh said that a commendable effort has been made to reach out to the women farmers directly. The Agriculture Minister offered that the Agriculture Ministry will be happy to provide funds for promoting such Women of India Organic Melas across the country.
Union Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that the people visiting the exhibition provides an opportunity to buy a variety of organic products including large number of varieties of rice, rajma, pulses , spices, other grains , honey and handicrafts. Women from Leh to Kanyakumari and from Kohima to Kutch are represented in the Mela , which has given women farmers a platform to display and sell their products directly to the people, the Minister added.
The Exhibition has been set up with the active involvement of three organizations Navdanya , P R Grid and Organic Farming Association of (OFAI) , who have tried to ensure full participation of organic women farmers and organic producers from places as diverse and far as Ladakh, Assam and Odisha. Other organisations at the exhibition include HIMVEER, ASMI international, ATP Greentech , AMIRA , Sonal White Cub Dairy-Free Ice Creams among others and a large number of small farmers from across the country.
The ‘Women of India Exhibition’ is a special initiative of WCD Ministry for women’s empowerment under which it invites the women, meets their travel and local accommodation costs, but allows them to keep all the proceeds recovered from the sale of organic produce.