• Aimée Lister

The Initiative Championing Organic Farming in India

Meet Priya, a young climate activist from India

Recently, Louder than the Storm talked to Priya Yadav, a climate change activist from India who champions Organic Farming. We talked about her organisation, Organic for Climate, and how she keeps motivated to live a sustainable and climate positive life.

What inspires Priya's climate activism?

Priya found the inspiration for her climate activism work in the community she grew up in and around. Coming from ‘a small village in India where people live in harmony with nature’ she could see the effects first hand that unsustainable agriculture had on her local community. ‘They might not be having proper education but they are all bio-literate and share affection towards biodiversity. ‘

However, this did not just translate to her having a simple, positive relationship with nature. She describes it instead as ‘complicated.’ The beauty of nature is part of her every day - like the ‘airy breeze coming from the fields or the ‘starry nights over [her] village.’ But, so is the damage - like ‘contaminated water.’ She appreciates the gifts of nature whilst also worrying about how they live and survive.

None of this is a reason for Priya to give up hope. ‘You know what astonishes me? Nature’s in-built healing process - even after suffering climate change impacts. Nature always finds a way to get back on track.’

The inspiration for her to keep moving forward with her climate activism and sustainable lifestyle comes from all around her. Whether that be David Attenborough, and his climate documentaries; or Padma shri awardee R Pappammal, the 105 year old organic farming pioneer. On a more everyday level, her long runs ‘rejuvenate’ her and ‘relieve stress.’ Additionally, she gets a lot of inspiration observing the farmers she lives around who have to struggle to earn a basic minimum wage and provide food and shelter. ‘When I feel demotivated, I go out of the house and see these people pushing themselves one extra mile to support their families. After this, I reassess my own privilege and the opportunities I have.’

Who is Organic for Climate?

Of course, the environment's ability to heal itself needs a helping hand from individuals and organisations. Priya is part of this, with her organisation Organic for Climate that she started in 2020. Her inspiration to set the group up was the ‘rising number of famer’s suicides and death of farmers due to the harmful impact of chemicals they use in agriculture.’ As a farmer’s daughter herself, creating an international advisory on organic farming seemed like the only way forward.

Now operating in more than 15 countries Organic for Climate aims to be a ‘one-stop solution platform for organic farming.’ Currently it offers certification, ecommerce, consultancy, credit support and sustainability research to interested farmers. Their essential aim is simple. They want to make organic and sustainable farming an easier choice to make with readily available information from a collection of sources.

In fact, people coming together is what Priya believes is central to positive and actual climate action; ‘extensive change needs to be collective.’ She stresses that she ‘completely’ believes ‘in the power of individual actions.’ In her everyday life she has been inspired to take the steps she can to reduce her impact on the climate. Essentially, she believes that a simplicity in reducing waste is the way forward. Not only has she seen the benefits of this in her current life, but sees the impact as those in her village around her live by these principles.

Her work wants to help farmers like those she grew up around. Organic for Climate’s motto is to ‘increase farmer’s income by reducing procurement costs and other resources related costs.’ Ultimately she wants to create a positive future for these farmers outside of the assumption that fertilizers and pesticides are a must have when growing crops. By aligning themselves with the targets of the 2030 sustainable development agenda, Priya wants those following Organic for Climate to be accustomed to eco-friendly living and to build environmental consciousness.

Meet the Movement: Meet inspiring people from across the globe making a real difference to their community. We can’t build a movement if we don’t know who each other are. Meet them, connect with them, be inspired, become one of them. Movements grow through people, let’s get going.

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