‘Aranya’is a Sanskrit word, which actually means Forest. Ancient Indian mythology considered forest as the home and for all life forms. The forest is defined as a sustainable energy generating system, and is a vital ecosystem maintaining ecological balance .ARANYA (The Forest) is also the source and guiding principle of agriculture. It is a self-regulating process, with abilities to sustain the present and the future. Therefore the organization was christened ARANYA AGRICULTURE ALTERNATIVES (ARANYA) to encapsulate the regeneration philosophy of age old Indian nature tradition.
“ARANYA” aims to provide alternative solutions to the present conventional and chemical agricultural practices. Since forest is the mother of agriculture, ARANYA is committed to follow the philosophy of natural agricultural practices with focus on forest farming so as to take up production without causing destruction to planet earth, enabling all life forms to coexist. To achieve sustainable development on our Earth, mankind must act only in accordance with nature. ARANYA strongly believes that there is only one law i.e., Nature’s Law and human beings should not extract anything beyond their needs from the nature and also should return whatever that remains unused back to nature, a law which can be stated as LAW OF RETURNS to increase the ability of sustainable production.
This is a dry land(never irrigated) mature food forest know in the permaculture world, that can increase the ground water.It is Narsanna’s and Padma’s vision is to make a model of what farmers who own 1-3 acres can do to grow the food they need to eat a healthy diet: cereals, oil seed, pulses, vegetables, fruits and nuts as well as a cash crop.
When you walk into our farm, The first thing you see is semi-circle of neem, seethapall (custard apple), tamarind, glycicidia and some buchanaia lanzan (morri), passion fruit, pongamia, moringa, subabul and sandal wood and creeping plants growing together. 30% of trees are, planted directly from seed and 70% are grafted trees. As you walk further you see, open field into 3 separate plots. One year we plant the pulses in one area, oil seed in another and grains in the 3rd. Then we alternate for another year. We grow all the millets, (finger millet) pearl millet, minor millet, sorghum, dry land rice, pulses (green gram, black gram, pigeon pea, lentil, lateris pea, chick pea, horsegram, and oil seeds — safflower, sesame, ground nut, sunflower, niger, linseed.
It is important for us to give as much information as possible, please click here to further read about our journey as Charlotte interviews Narsanna
The 1000 sq m farm is located in Badangpet, in the surburban Hyderabad, Telangana. Started in 2015, this urban permaculture farm has both annuals and perennials.
An idea to grow their own food has led to this farm now providing for more than 3 families. It also stands as an inspiration to urban dwellers to understand how a small space can still create abundance. The biodiversity of the farm shows how permaculture can both provide healthy food, and regenerate the environment in a suburban setting.
Following Aranya’s goals, the farm is now functioning as a learning center.
Narsanna Koppula is a permaculture pioneer in India. His environmental-humanitarian work has been empowering rural communities for the past two and a half decades. Narsanna is a Permaculture Consultant, Designer & Teacher and a campaigner of permaculture practices all over the world. He is a post graduate from Osmania University and received his Permaculture Certificate from Permaculture International Institute, Australia. He is a student of Dr.Venkat who invited Bill Mollison and Robyn Francis to India to further permaculture.
Narsanna was on the Board of the Permaculture Association of India and served for 12 years (1986 to 1998) as Director and General Secretary of Deccan Development Society, a premier NGO working on sustainable agriculture. He is a designer and professional guide in ‘efficient water use techniques in command irrigation’. He is actively engaged in implementing Tree Based Farming Systems (TBFS) and planting 100,000 fruit plants and 3 lakh mixed forest species on 1000 tribal families’ lands under Tribal Development Program. He is a project evaluator for various natural resource management projects and networks with several national and international organizations.
Narsanna is committed to ecological and sustainable agricultural livelihoods through permaculture farming practices to create a greener planet. He believes the forest is the future and he spreads his message through his non-profit organization “Aranya Agricultural Alternatives” presently operating in the rural and tribal areas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India. Narsanna also leads a three month internship through the Permaculture Patashala where students implement projects in rural areas for poor farmers.
Padma Koppula (CEO) is a committed social worker since nearly 20 years of work with rural farmers , Institutional development expert, irrigation expert & Gender specialist, her past services include advisory member for Andhra Pradesh Farmers Water Management Committees Association (FWMCA) , Secretary for the Bodhi Education Society, Deccan Development Society coordinator , consultant to the Govt of AP –Irrigation projects;Promoter of sustainable agriculture practices & Permaculture.