Baparao, A Farmer Who Is Working On ‘One Village One seed’ To Help Farmers Grow Crops Without Chemicals

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Farmers in Athota village in Andhra Pradesh, were growing paddy, a staple diet in the coastal belt of Andhra Pradesh. They were stuck in a cycle of having to buy more urea and fertilizers along with insecticides each year while facing uncertainties in production and returns along with other problems thus making agriculture an unviable option with each passing crop season.  They also felt dejected as they could see growing health problems people are facing but saw no options for themselves. They then came to know about a young village resident with the name Baparao who was trying to grow paddy without chemicals of any kind. To their surprise, this youngster was going back to traditional methods but he was able to enrich the soil, grow nutritious paddy while achieving the same productivity as earlier. 

Slowly the farmers in the village are moving towards traditional method of growing paddy and are now actively helping him make the seed bank. Looking at the transformation in Athota village farmers across the state are coming to Athota to learn from their knowledge and farmers in nearby villages and mandals have already started implementing these farming practices. 

One of the farmers who is growing native paddy in Athota.

Who is Baparao?

Baparao Athota is a youngster from Athota village, Andhra Pradesh. He was a regular youngster like any other, who  grew up to take up graphic designing and was earning a handsome salary while pursuing his career and dreams in Hyderabad. What makes him special is the quest for a simple life. He doesn’t crave anything more than health  and clean air for his family to breathe. His needs are basic and he leads a very simple life with his family.

The return to village

Though he came from a farming background, Baparao moved to Hyderabad to study and subsequently started working as a graphic designer. While he loved the creative challenges his job posed to, who found himself missing  clean air, water and greenery of his village. After his marriage he and his wife both felt similar want for fresh food and environment. While he was going through this tussle in his mind, he got the news that they were expecting a child. This gave Baparao the impetus to go back to his roots and to start farming again.

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The impetus

The news of a baby on the way accelerated Baparao’s return to his roots as this news brought back memories of his aunt’s ill health. His aunt was diagnosed with cancer when he was a kid and subsequently passed away. While, he was affected by it it took him a while to draw the connection, understand and believe that the food we consume today is the reason for a lot of diseases. His move to the city, understanding of the way city dwellers procure food for themselves from markets and the supply chain process made him believe that growing one’s own food is the only way to ensure healthy food for the family. 


He felt a greater responsibility towards his wife and the baby’s health. He felt he would not be able to provide healthy, nutritious and chemical free food to his family members. He decided that the only way to health was to grow indigenous food by himself.He went back to his village Atotha after giving up his flourishing career and started by cultivating their farm land for growing food for their own use.


In the first year, he faced a lot of problems. No one in his family or even the village had the knowledge or even knew how to do farming without chemicals anymore. Even the graduates of agriculture Bsc that he reached out to had no sufficient knowledge of farming without chemical fertilizers or insecticides. He met many like minded farmers and researched on his own and was successfully able to cultivate paddy and other food crops on his farm land. While on his quest, he realised that one reason that farmers needed to use a lot of urea, fertilizers, insecticides and chemical nutrients is because they were growing non native crops. Upon further research, he realised that traditional Indian agricultural practices involved saving the best seeds for next crop seasons. 


As he researched and started growing native varieties he realised there is actually no need for that many insecticides as the crop is suited to grow in its natural habitat. Unnecessary pests are not there and soil returns to it’s healthy and nutritious self with time. He also discovered that earth worms, a farmer’s best friends come back. Earthworms not only helped him make his crops grow better but also helped the water table. In the first year of shifting to organic farming he saw a yield of only half his usual produce. Next year his yield was 80% of his previous yield. In the third year he reached his usual produce and in the fourth year he is all set to cross the yield he got through use of fertilizers and insecticides. 

Importance of Seeds:

Thus, he believes that seeds are extremely important and are sources of  high protein, starch and oil reserves that help in the early stages of growth and development in a plant. These reserves are what make many cereals and legumes major food sources for a large proportion of the world’s inhabitants. The health and quality of seeds determines the quality not just the crop but also health for a large population. 

Thus, began the quest for finding indigenous cereal varieties particularly the paddy varieties. He has been meeting a lot of farmers in his village and across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to find indigenous crop varieties and their indigenous native seeds. By doing this, he aims to make a seed bank which farmers can access when in need and can give their indigenous seeds to. 

His dream is to be able to discover sub species of indigenous varieties for every village or mandal. He calls it “One village one seed”. 

The journey to discovering indigenous seeds and varieties  has not been easy however in the process Baparao has inspired many farmers who are willing to living heavily urea,chemical and fertilizer dependant farming and move to organic farming with indigenous varieties like he has. He has become a beacon to many farmers and Agriculture Bsc students who come to him from across the twin telugu speaking states to gain from his knowledge and wisdom.

Baparao has also been spreading information about various rice varieties to various sections of people and telling them the importance of eating as per their body constitution as prescribed in Ayurveda. He largely believes that if people eat fresh food which is locally produced they would be very healthy. He also advises people to look at eating traditional Indian food such as millets etc., provided it suites their constitution and is something their ancestors ate traditionally. Additionally, he has been spending a lot of time highlighting various varieties of rice and its benefits. He says “ Health is wealth and food is the only true medicine”

Farmers like Baparao is the reason why we city dwellers are able to get quality food. People like him make us remember that there is no one kinder than a farmer for he undergoes do much toil and stress with very little returns to give us the basic need of our life i.e., good food. By undertaking this work he is not only giving quality food but he is also preserving the biodiversity of our country and making a great contribution to our country’s health as well as environment. We wish Baparao all the best in all his endeavours. 

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote Is Distributing 40,000+ Meals Per Day In Mumbai During Covid-19 Lockdown

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Every global crisis affects every country in a different way depending on their socio-economic background. The COVID 19 pandemic hit India straight in its gut. After the lockdown daily wage workers and people who are underprivileged have been rendered out of their jobs. This has ultimately pushed them to an acute financial crisis so much so that even being able to afford two meals a day has become impossible. While we all wait for normalcy to bring us back our sanity, the financially disadvantaged people on the streets are fighting both the pandemic and hunger.

In a scenario like so, a number of social groups have come forward to help in whatever way they can. One of the worst hit cities is Mumbai, where 5 lakh migrant workers, the homeless and underprivileged residents of slums and chawls, waiting endlessly for normalcy to return., an initiative by is cooking food and delivering them to those in dire need, every single day.

“” that was launched in the city of Mumbai on March 29th, is one of its kind people-driven movements that has been running hall and hearty by the people coming from all across. It is that classic example of solidarity where people from all backgrounds, cultural and social has come together to ensure that every mouth is fed.

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Top : Pathik Muni, Ruben Mascarenhas. Below: Munaf Kapadia, Shishir Joshi

How does work

What’s different you ask? has built a capacity of preparing over a whopping 50000+ meals on a daily basis by activating the closed kitchens on several Mumbai routes. Pathik Muni, who has been particularly invested in the mission says, “ We crowdsource demand on hunger pockets and then map it to supply-side by activating closed kitchens. Our partner NGO “Project Mumbai” with reach to the relevant stake holders in Government departments helps us facilitate permissions to activate these closed Kitchens with a turn around of 24 hours. Parallelly we raise funds to map the demand.”

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Areas of food distribution in Mumbai

The food that is prepared is not just hygienic but also fits the calorie count that is sufficient for a person to get him through the day. Every meal consists of daal-rice, aloo-sabzi, chole rotis, veg pulav etc. has a volunteer-driven collective drive in various areas of Mumbai where people in large numbers have come forward to contribute in the many ways possible. So far the initiative has covered the Bandra to Dahisar route on Western Express Highway, Sion to CST and underprivileged pockets between Mankurd to Kurla on Eastern Express Highway, Juhu to Dahisar on Linking road, a cluster of 1100 labor camps near Mumbai Central and a part of Dharavi Slums.

If you want to volunteer in Mumbai kindly reach out to [email protected]

Food distribution areas  in Mumbai by

  1. To beggars & homeless
    • below the flyovers between Bandra to Dahisar on Western Express Highway,
    • between Juhu to Dahisar on Link road
    • below the flyovers between Ghatkopar to CST
    • under privileged pockets between Mankurd to Kurla.on Eastern Express Highway,
  2. To labour camps
    • a cluster of 1100 labour camp near Mumbai Central
    • a cluster of 3000 labour camp near Govandi
    • a cluster of 2000 labour camp near Mahul
    • a cluster of 750 labour camp in Colaba
  3. Parts of Dharavi Slums towards Cotton Green.
  4. Over 5000 meals in labour camps at various location identified and provided by the Assistant Commissioner,
  5. Serving food to over 5000 meals in Worli and Bandra on request of the local MLA and Corporator.

Immense demand of food in next 10 days

The intent of the movement is to continue the drive of feeding the needy in these difficult times at least until the lockdown is lifted by the government. However, as the days are proceeding, initiative has identified more and more hunger pockets as a result of which the demand for food is just rising since the time it started. To give a perspective of the recently emerged roadblock, Pathik says, “Nine days back, we started with 1200 meals and we are already catering a demand of 40,000+ as of today. We have corporate donors for most of our requirement, but as the demand for food is rising, we are now looking to feed 5000 people in next 10 days, which turns out to be 1,00,000 meals. Therefore we need to now raise a sum of Rs 25,00,000/- which is huge and we really need the support of more people.”

To raise the funds, initiative has come together with Efforts For Good and The Logical Indian to share this concern with our community members because as a citizen-driven movement, the initiative needs more and more people to come forward and a set a sum aside to keep the initiative going in its full glory so that there are no impediments coming in the way of feeding every mouth in these difficult times. Additionally, one can also contribute by sharing the word with friends and families. COVID 19 is difficult for all, the least we can do is to contribute so that the struggle to cope up with the pandemic does not add up to the struggle to cope up with hunger as well.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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