A part of our school company is currently in India, to get to know the production standards of our Indian cooperation partners. We spent two days of our trip at the Mojo Plantation in the south of the country, to inform ourselves about the organic agriculture and the first step of organic cotton production.
The Mojo Plantation is located in the Indian rainforest, near the town of Madikeri, in the state of Karnataka, in the middle of the Western Ghats. The farm was founded in 1994 and covers 25 acres. It is situated at an altitude of about 1100 meters.
The Western Ghats are a mountain region located 30-50 kilometers inland from the west coast. The mountains stretch over 1600 kilometers and six states in West India. It is home to one of the largest biological diversities worldwide. It is also home to around 325 threatened species.
The people on the plantation live in a permaculture. All natural influences and conditions are included in the way of life and work. This means that only areas created by nature are used to cultivate the plants. Grasses, trees and weeds are not removed to create space for large fields.
On the plantation, cardomon and black pepper are cultivated, which also grow naturally in this region. But also vanilla and coffee grow here in a cultivated form. Also cinnamon and other spices are harvested here. On the farm live not only humans, but also goats, cows and shepherds.
People live in a permaculture, because chemical farming promotes and causes the decline of the population of rare species. Since the use of pesticides has reduced the quality of soil and water all over the world, they have decided to return to farming methods without genetic modification and pesticides.
We were welcomed very warmly and were able to get a good impression of the local life. On the first morning we received a tour of the plantation and an explanation to many things they do differently on the farm. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to see the goats and cows. In addition, the system of the biogas plant, which is used here, was explained to us. Unfortunatly, we could not do the planned walk, because of heavy rain.
The next day we went on a hike. At first it was raining, partly so strong that we had to look for protection, but this did not keep us from climbing up to the rigde of the mountain. From there we had a unique view! On the way back we arrived in heavy rain, so we returned very wet to the accommodation.
In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to help composting and could therefore understand the importance of the work they are doing. In the evening, we sat together with the platation staff and discussed the ideas of the filmcrew, among other things.
Iliana Steinke and Johannes Kapst