Please read my previous post. Continuing my story about how I came up with my business name Zameen.
For hours, I would watch Dhedhuki's farmers plow, weed, plant, seed, and water the earth to grow cotton for their livelihood and food (vegetables, some spices, grains, and lentils) for their families. They have such a deep respect for the land and knowledge of the land. Like, they could spot an edible "weed" vs. a non-edible weed. They would capture and release black cobras instead of killing them.
By the time I had gotten to Dhedhuki, cotton farming had changed. The impacts of the green revolution and globalization could be seen. Most farmers planted genetically modified cotton (BT) that required the annual purchase of expensive lab harvested seeds and tons of lab-grown pesticides and fertilizers. The scariest parts were the farmers did not wear protective gear while spraying these pesticides. Often, my village friends would get sick after a day of spraying pesticides. During my last visit in 2019, the NGO's cofounders I worked with said an increasing number of farmers were getting cancer. Many of them were still taking out loans to purchase seeds and fertilizer to add to their woes.
Ever since I stepped foot into Dhedhuki, I have heard farmers ask me to take their spices, lentils, and peanuts to sell in America. Many of them want to do regenerative farming, but they need access to better markets. Ten years later, the problem still exists.
One of the reasons I started Zameen is that I wanted to help farmers break the cycle of poverty and protect their health while reducing climate change.