Explore the Link between Biological and Cultural Diversity
Basudha (= ‘Earth Mother’ in Bengali) is a 2.3 acre farmland, on rent in a tribal village, surrounded by forests and hills in Bissam Cuttack block, Rayagada district of southern Odisha. A farm house is being built, to accommodate visiting activists, research students and farmers.
Watch a short video of Basudha’s work, by filmmaker and photographer Jason Taylor.
Basudha farm was established in early 2001 in Bankura district of West Bengal initially as a field station of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies. In 2010, Basudha was registered as an independent Trust body, which is currently comprised by Dr. Debal Deb, Mr. Tathagata Banerjee, Dr. Mita Dutta, Mr. Debdulal Bhattacharjee, and Mr. Avik Saha as Trustees.
Basudha aims to conserve India’s vanishing rice varieties; encourage, demonstrate and support organic farming and traditional methods of multiple cropping; research in the human ecology of uncultivated foods from the wild; research and document ecoforestry practices; and preserve and develop local knowledge of biodiversity and its uses. Basudha is a partner of the nationwide anti-WTO movement, and locally engaged in non-formal education and heuristic science teaching for the rural youth. Basudha also gives practical training in ecological agriculture.
Every year, scientists, research scholars, students, activists and farmers from different parts of the world visit Basudha – to teach, learn from, and share ideas with, Basudha workers and farmers in the surrounding villages. WWOOFers find Basudha to be a favourite farm to stay and work in. The new Basudha campus in Odisha is now open for WWOOFers and volunteers. The Annual Basudha Festival, held in Winter every year, is a special event in which students, environmentalists, artists and conservationists from different parts of the world come to participate.
The Basudha farmhouse is an example of ecological architecture with (almost) zero-ecological footprint: No kiln bricks, no cement, no plastics. Three hutments are made of adobe, mud, lime, sand and stones, with straw thatched roofs. It has three EcoSan dry toilets, whose dry compost enriches the farm soil. The campus is off-grid, and solar powered. We never extract groundwater, nor apply any external material for our farm inputs.
Basudha also demonstrates biodiverse agroecology in its polycrop home garden, where more than 20 species of crops are cultivated on zero external input.
The old Basudha farmhouse is located at Binodbati mouza, P.O. Layekbandh of Bankura district (23˚12′ 25.6″ N, 87˚16′ 54.3″ E). Nearest railway stations: Bishnupur (22 km) and Durgapur (41 km). View Satellite image of BASUDHA on googlemap
The new Basudha farm is located in a remote tribal village of Rayagada district. For security reasons, the exact location is disclosed only to WWOOFers and genuine research students upon inquiry. Over 1100 folk rice varieties and 20 other crops are being grown on this farm every year, as a model of ecological agriculture, with zero external inputs. Please contact us for road map and directions.
Basudha does not encourage pleasure trips by urban joy-seekers or picnickers, but is open only to WWOOFers, research students, and activists who are willing to participate and assist in our activities.
N.B. Basudha’s work does not receive financial support from any funding agency – whether governmental or non-governmental. All activities are fuelled by personal donations from Trustees and friends. There is no tariff for accommodation at Basudha, but we would request visitors to make a donation according to their ability and pleasure.
We provide spartan, yet comfortable accommodation (with bed, pillow, blankets and mosquito net) and simple vegetarian meals, with rice as staple. Anything extra (e.g. bread/ cheese/ beverages/ meat) will be at cost.
|NOTE: Basudha’s conservation activities have shifted to Rayagada district of southern Odisha [detail here]. While there is no farm experiments or conservation activity currently underway in West Bengal, Basudha’s adobe farm house and arboretum in Bengal are still open for visitors. If you are willing to visit, please contact us.|