Living Farms was founded in Odisha in 2005. Our focus is on improving food security and nutrition for marginal, landless agricultural laborers, forest dependent communities and Adivasis in India.

Conservative perspectives levied upon by those who gauge wealth by just monetary value, have deemed Adivasis in India as poor. The sheer spread of ecologically sustainable practices carried out by these forest communities and their role in protecting our forests and bio-diversity largely lays ignored.
We're at the crossroads of losing the Adivasi intergenerational wisdom of community sharing and sustainable living. External human intervention has posed  a threat to local communities and they're losing their true wealth to tenets of one-dimensional modernity. The time to change this is NOW. 
Our future initiatives will continue to create a cohesive environment of well-being by focusing on local knowledge, community led initiatives. We seek to help reduce the food and nutrition issues faced by these remote communities by helping them revive organic and multi-cropping practices.

Our work progress

Seedlings planted on degraded forest land
Women farmers developing home gardens
Percentage reduction in infant mortality rate
Households with increased food access

Sustainable Agriculture

9000 farmers are involved in reviving traditional multi-cropping. Crop diversity has gone up from 8 to 53 between 2011 & 2015. 2500 farmers have 80-120 Kg more reserves due to diversity. 400 households adopted organic farming practices.

Forest Regeneration

1200 Hectares of degraded forests were freshly planted. In total, 340,000 seedlings with a 70% survival rate have been planted. Women are leading the regeneration efforts and aim to conserve 10,000 Hectares of forest cover.

Achieving Food Security

Food scarcity has gone down from 76% to 29% in 3-8 months in the project areas. 1200 women developed home gardens. Infant mortality rates have gone down from 131 in 2011 to 85 in 2014. 99% mothers have accessed health care schemes. 

Our Work Approach

adivasis in India farming knowledge and forest dependent communities in India

Research & Publishing

As a social organization deeply involved in food sovereignty and fighting hunger for Adivasis in India, Living farms is on the forefront of research in this area. We have published magazines, articles and knowledge pieces in peer-reviewed journals to share our learning and best practices with the community. Our research has also tried to benchmark maternal, child malnutrition, impact of seed management, multi-cropping and eco-agriculture in the Adivasi communities.

Adivasis in India and forest dependent communities Living Farms work

Festivals & Events

In the past years, Living Farms has organized several events and festivals related to bringing the challenges, issues and tradition of the Adivasi community and forest dependent communities to the forefront. We recently organized a unique “Food festival” bringing together a community of Adivasis from 15 states in India on a common platform. The communities shared uncultivated forest crops and traditional food on a common platform for shared knowledge and learning.

Adivasis in India and forest dependent communities workshops

Capacity Building Workshops

Living Farms organizes capacity building workshops with Adivasi and forest dependent communities. The workshops usually cover the concept of LANN- linking agriculture, natural resource management with nutrition. We specialize on addressing nutrition issues of Adivasis and forest dependent communities. The workshops we’ve covered in the past have covered topics around improved and sustainable agricultural practice, forest management and also maternal/ child nutrition.

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Living Farms Experiences

Rain was erratic last year. We could not sow some of our crops like barnyard millet, short duration finger millet, pearl millet etc. as planned and instead grew long duration varieties of those crops and more of longer duration little millet. It was possible because our seed bank had more than 25 varieties of seeds.

adivasis in India living farms experience
Adivasi Farmer Experience Chitru Wadaka, Adivasi farmer, Odisha

The project had a return on investment of 2.29. A return on investment in watershed programs of 1.6 is considered to be acceptable therefore the current project may be considered cost effective…it has delivered many ecological services in addition to direct cash benefits…the community has benefited enormously by increased diversity of food crops and by growing vegetables for consumption and sale. The participatory process of using people’s knowledge in all activities, followed by the project implementation is commendable. It has recognized adivasi people as “subjects” and masters of their own development and treated people as genuine partners and not beneficiaries”

Adivasis in India Living Farms work and review
Project Review- Living Farms Dr. V Rukmini Rao, Independent Project Evaluator

We volunteered for Living Farms. We stayed for one year to help with the communication about their projects and campaigns.  Most of our time went to the website, newsletter, brochure, documentaries in the office in Bhubaneswar. But sometimes we also went to the fields. This way we can really “felt” and discovered their culture. It was really impressive to meet the farmers and tribal people. Our colleagues are very warm and nice people! It’s nice to be really part of Living Farms.

adivasis in India living farms review
Volunteering Experience- Living Farms Ellen Lens & Jens Vanderheyden, Belgium
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