‘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.
A. Shilpa Reddy
Project Lead (Andhra Pradesh)
Padma gives trainings in and uses participatory rural development techniques to work with villagers. She engages capacity building activities and education for rural people in water resource management, farm management, diversified annual crops and tree-based farming systems. She teaches seed preservation of local and native seeds and helps establish seed banks in many villages. Padma does trainings for government employees in participatory irrigation management of canal systems from large community owned water tanks for many districts in her state. In canal irrigation management services, Aranya is directly involved with 200 000 farmers in a democratic participatory approach. Padma has done a lot of work with village women, helping to organize them into groups and federations. She teaches them to access the government resources available, links them to financial organizations to develop their own farms. She supports underprivileged women’s motivation, strength and capacities. Padma leads women in organizing cooperative fodder forests for animals, food forests for people, community herb gardens, and cooperative food preservation systems. Padma has helped the landless poor to get access from the government to their own farmland and taught them permaculture practices for farming. Padma Koppula’s work with small farmers and underprivileged people is wide reaching and has long term success.
Ms. B. Swapna pursued M. Tech in GIS & Remote Sensing from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad. In her 12 years of experience, she has worked with I&CAD Department, GoAP, R S Development Solutions and Research Services Pvt. Ltd (RSDSRS), Asian Development Bank (ADB), UNICEF and Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society (APSDPS), Planning Department, GoAP. Her main areas of specialization are database design, efficient database management & maintenance, visual representation of data, data analytics, spatial and non-spatial analysis, GIS/spatial mapping, developing GIS & MIS based decision support system, graphical and quantitative analysis, monitoring and evaluation, participatory irrigation management and water management.
Holds M Sc M Phil Bed degree and 30 years of teaching experience in chemistry.
Subash Chandra Reddy is a humanitarian, nature lover and a social worker who has committed his life majorly for the cause of water resource conservation as a part of his contribution to the greater good of earth and mankind as a whole. Apart from which he is also involved in rural development works and community welfare activities in Andhra Pradesh. He is founder of SMARAN an environmental and developmental organization (registered as a NGO under societies act 606/88) working for the community welfare since 1997, is the brain child of Subash Reddy with a mission to promote natural resource base livelihoods for poor and rural communities and to protect and manage the environment and natural resources with major emphasis on water.
Over 30 years’ experience in NGO field Accountant with Deccan Development Society Principal at Pacha Saale (Green School) at Deccan Development Society: Set up school with academic and vocational, Recruit and train the staff, monitor day to day activities, prepare teaching learning material, review school activities on weekly and monthly basis, prepare activity reports for management and funding agencies. Coordinate with other innovative educational institutions for update the school activities. Project Coordinator for Education program at Swayam Krishi Sangam: Area selection for preschools, set up schools, recruit teachers and conduct training, monitoring of schools, conduct review and planning monthly meetings, review performances, prepare weekly/monthly reports for management, attend board meetings and present the education reports. Operations Manager for at Swayam Krishi Sangam: Operations at field level, strategic planning, and program implementation for Preschools, QIP, VEC, SEC, RBC, Balvihars, L2R program, and Ultra Poor Program Accounts and Finance Manager at Swayam Krishi Sangam head office Sr. Accounts and Finance Manager at Bodhi Educational Society
Vast experience in management and very good organisational skills. Worked as Manager in UTI Mutual Fund and prior to that in Union Bank of India.
He is Evangelist, television speaker in Aradhana (Christian Devotional Channel). He is a founder of Miracle Life Ministries (An Evangelical Church Organization) and also Miracle Life Ministries Trust (A charitable Organization). He works at Hyderabad, Zaheerabad of Sangareddy district, and Bidar (Karnataka state).
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.
Over 32 years of Managerial experience in the Rural, Agriculture banking and Expert in Rural Economics. Present Occupation: *Chief Manager, Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank, BHEL Branch, Ramachandrapuram, Medak District. *General Secretary, National Federation of Regional Rural Banks Officers (NFRRBO) & *General Secretary, Andhra Pradesh -Telangana States Regional Rural Banks Employees Association (AP-TS RRBEA). EXPOSURE: *Extensively toured all the states in the country on Association works. *Represented in the Trade Union International at Johensberg, South Africa in March 2006. *Represented at World Federation of Trade Unions at Durban, Sourth Africa in October 2016. * Represented in IPC held London in September 2015