Samir Bordoloi, man behind Intaya Public School's food forest. Image credit: Facebook

Students of Intaya Public School in Roing town of Arunachal Pradesh recently undertook an arduous task of uprooting overgrown weeds, dig hard earth, create fertile beds and plant seedlings.

The entire exercise was carried out by the students under the expert supervision of Samir Bordoloi– a Guwahati-based farmer and his team of five.

Bordoloi and his team initiated the programme to convert a part of the school ground into a food forest.

Bordoloi said that he had launched his Farm for Soul campaign at the school in a bid to encourage young children to take to agriculture in an ecologically sustainable manner.

“For five days we worked with these children and formed a Green Tribe Club with 40 students under our project called Attracting Students to Agripreneurship Program (ASAP),” Bordoloi said.

“This is the first school in which we formed a School Food Forest,” he added.

Bordoloi is a graduate in agricultural studies who has devoted his life to organic farming practices.

He began his career in Jorhat, Assam, where he taught children in several schools about the merits of vermicomposting and the downsides of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

He has successfully transformed an entire village to the organic model of growing crops before moving on to Guwahati.

On the outskirts of Guwahati, he established the Spread NE Foundation and with an army of over 300 green commandos (youths between 18 to 35-year-old).

In Guwahati, he began the task of conserving indigenous species of herbs and plants found in Northeast and changing the face of agriculture.

His practices have made agriculture attractive to the youth and have shown them that it is a lucrative option.

“In Intaya Public School we taught them how to select and grow the local crops and to live in harmony with nature,” he said.

“Our kids must not transmute their needs to greeds. We are teaching them to explore their soul through learning life skills in the food forest and also meditation,” he added.

Intaya Public School provides education to needy students of remote areas and is led by two women entrepreneurs Jyoti Linggi and Lomi Linggi and their Essomi Foundation.

SPREAD NE and Essomi Foundation have launched this year-long programme to attract students towards agripreneurship which is based on ecological farming practices and are climate-resilient.

Bordoloi, who is the recipient of the Agrripreneur of the Country Award 2017, further said that on the last day of the programme the students were taken to a nearby village where they interacted with farmers.

“The whole aim of the programme was to sow the seeds of farming as livelihood among rural youths and keep our youths in our green villages,” he said.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com

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