“This is an organic mouth freshener made up of mango seed. These days people are suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency, mostly in vegetarians augmented out of RO water use. This mouth freshener is very helpful to deal with such a problem as well as to make your mouth fresh,” Laljibhai Buha says, sitting with his wife Vijaybai on his stall in 7th Organic Mahotsav held in Shilpgram, Udaipur.
Laljibhai and Vijaybai came to attend the Organic Mahotsav from a village Thordi in Gir Somnath district of Gujarat, where both husband and wife are involved in organic farming. They have 80 bighas of land, where 1400 Kesar mango trees and few trees of Jamun, Sahjan, and Babool have been grown on zero budgets. The zero budgets here means they don’t have to spend a single penny on fertilizers, pesticide or any other expenses. They use animal’s dung, urine, and neem leaf or other natural product to deal with pests and fertilize the land. It’s been 15 years for the couple to start organic farming as they began in 2004. They believe organic farming is very productive and profitable only when they planned to use every part of the crop innovatively.
‘We sell the Kesar mango to the retailer and the deformed mango which is out of the seller; we take out the pulp, pack them into the different quantity of package and sell it to market or in such festival.” Vijaybai explained the process. They do not use only deformed mangoes but also the seed to make mouth freshener. They have three different flavours of mango seed mouth fresheners, carries the quality to deal with vitamin B12 deficiency. Besides such traditional knowledge, they also make a powder of babool and sahjan leaf, beneficial for joint pain and diabetes.
The couple are happy with the profit they are gaining along with the exposure to the different festivals they have been invited, such as Organic Mahotsav. This Organic Mahotsav has been organized by the Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI) from 29th November to 1st of December, 2019. The three days programs have accommodated thousands of farmers, experts and people from agro-based businesses and startups invited from 25 states.
(Asrarul Haque Jeelani is a research scholar at the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)