OVERVIEW

This programme trains and educates the school children on why and how to provide support for establishing and maintaining Organic School Gardens making it an Activity-based Learning method for the students. It also emphasizes the role of Organic School Gardens in sowing the seeds of agripreneurship in the minds of young children & also build nutritional stewardship in the juvenile minds. SPREAD NE intends to create future agripreneurs by attracting school level students to agripreneurship.

RATIONALE

Promoting the culture of agriculture from the primary school level has been a cherished dream of the agriculturists and the government alike to keep the country food secured. Since organic agriculture has become the thrust area for the entire region, it is imperative that all out efforts are made to educate each and everyone, right from school level, on organic production, processing, handling and transportation and marketing methods. Organic School Gardens and curricula have strong potential not only to teach fundamental lessons about biology, ecology, food and nutrition but also inculcate the habit of farming in all the potential areas including the school premises for hands on training. This also will be a developmental pathway for acquisition of vocational skills in agriculture to take up the venture in a business mode for economic prosperity.

Organic School Gardens established by the participation of students can bring in nutritional security by inculcating the habit of eating local green vegetables as they have the delight of eating own-grown food. School gardens can be tied up to school meal programs, supplying a portion of the ingredients for the meal. This model also acts as an effective agricultural extension tool to disseminate organic farming skills to the community through the action of their children. Finally, school gardens and garden-based education have the potential to shape the values and expectations of children and their families about organic agriculture systems and food supplies.

Methodology

SPREAD NE has designed the programme ASAP (Attracting Students to Agripreneurship Programme)) and has developed a curricula of the same to be implemented in the schools of North East. The Organic School Garden model developed by the technical experts of SPREAD NE has been successfully piloted in rural schools of Jorhat and Golaghat districts of Assam by the SPREAD NE present member while they were working for another NGO. The success of the pilot led to the development of more improvised programme called the ASAP

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