Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Travel Photo of the Day: Vegetables on the Way to Market, Agra, India

This photo was taken in November 2005 en route from New Delhi to Agra to visit the Taj Majal. The streets of India are always full of life with something or someone interesting to see at every moment. It can be overwhelming for visitors to process the barrage of colors, movement, sounds and smells, but the scenes are always riveting. On this stretch of road, our fellow commuters were relatively tranquil, mostly farmers on their way to market transporting their wares by ox cart to sell some of the most beautiful and tempting vegetables I'd ever seen.

India's farmers are currently in the midst of an agricultural renaissance. Although traditional in their farming methods for millennia, beginning in the 1960s, the Indian government encouraged the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, much to the detriment of food producers and consumers. Rates of cancer, debt and suicide amongst farmers soared, but today the industry has dramatically shifted direction. India is returning to its roots and organic farming culture is growing in leaps and bounds, with more than 300,000 organic farms in 2009. Consumers have a growing awareness and expectation for naturally produced foods and farmers have answered the call. India is currently one of the global standard bearers for organic farming: although India's population is three times that of the U.S., there are 30 times more organic farmers.  


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