Welcome to ASSEFA Italia. This is the online home of Italian nonprofit organizations and non-governmental organizations helping Indian farmers become more productive. We are a bunch of Italian nonprofits who have coordinated together to share information with the rest of the world that would help poor farmers from all over the globe with a special emphasis on India.
India is a very special case because it is quite a study in contrast. On the one hand, you hear about all the amazing things happening in places like Bangalore and Hyderabad. These are cutting-edge places with a tremendous amount of business process outsourcing, massive buildings and even whole cities and districts devoted to call centers and data support.
India is the real deal when it comes to outsourcing. In fact, it is one of the world’s biggest outsourcing destinations whether we’re talking about insurance companies, law firms, even software companies, India is the place to be because it has a tremendous population of people who speak English a second language. These individuals are highly educated and definitely highly motivated to provide the very best service.
With that said, there is also the underside of India. This is the part of India you don’t hear about. I’m not talking about teeming slums in places Calcutta, Mumbai or New Delhi. Those are actually fairly easy for the world to see. Those often function as the perennial black eye to India’s otherwise sterling and glowing success story.
Instead, there is a more troubling spot in India and this involves its farmers. There are hundreds of millions of people living in abject poverty in the countryside. These people don’t even have enough money to get on a train to live in a slum in the city. That’s how bad they have it, and we’re talking about people who live on less than $1 a day. Think about that for a second. $1 a day.
You may be reading this page from a developing country. You might be thinking to yourself converted to local currency, $1 dollar a day is doable.
It is no surprise that a lot of Indian farmers are so indebted, so broke and so desperate that many commit suicide. Some even take their families with them. That’s how bad things are in the Indian countryside. AThis website was started when a couple of its founders went on a hiking trip through India. We did the usual tourist route going through the big cities, checking out the Taj Mahal and a wide range of Hindu temples. However, during a side trip, we found ourselves in the countryside. We loved the serenity and the natural scenery of the countryside that we actually decided to stay there for a month.
What we saw in that month truly changed our lives. Regardless of whatever frustration, anxieties, and worries for the future we may have had in our relatively comfortable lives back in Italy, we were just blown away by what we saw. Despite the seeming beauty of the countryside and the amazing greenery and ability of the soil to give, give and give, people were dirt poor. People were walking around with all this lush vegetation with no food in their stomach, and the disconnect really got to us. How can this be? It’s like people were living in a green hell. You can put your finger into the soil.
You would think that it would grow because the soil was that fat, and there we were walking around people who had nothing and who were literally starving. What’s going on? It turns out that the reason for this is because they did not own the land and whatever communal land they had access to was just badly managed, and that’s why you had this really soul-shattering dichotomy of a tremendous natural abundance and human poverty. As you can well imagine when we got back on that plane all the way to go back to Italy, we came back changed people. In fact, we were so motivated to come up with technical solutions.
ASSEFA Italia is the fruit of this physical, emotional and spiritual transformation. While we are not trying to pass ourselves off as some sort Messiahs for poor people in India.
We have definitely bent over backwards to gather as much information as we can that would enable impoverished Indian farmers or those who want to help them in India get the information they need to make a real and substantial change.
The information that we offer in this website focuses on sustainable farming. A lot of the land in India can definitely be cultivated in a self-sustaining way to produce a lot more food without sucking up a tremendous amount of inputs. You don’t necessarily have to put in a lot of money in the land to get it to perform really well. Seriously. It really only means one contribution for any-body reading this material to turn the land they access into a productive land that can feed their families and local community.
We have uncovered a lot of basic agricultural mysteries to maximize tropical farm production. We have also talked with a lot of experts who have not only done custom research but have broken down this information in such a way that it can fit the Indian context. We understand that people do not have money for machinery. We understand that people do not have money for fertilizers. We get that, and that’s why the information that we provide here really only needs one input.
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