Swayyam Grama

The Swayyam Community Centre will provide farmers in the area with a resource hub, processing center and education site supporting the transition to sustainable Organic Farming.

Value Add Products • Residential Farm School • Nursery with Training Center • Cold Oil Press • Millet Mill • Job Creation • Improved Nutritional Health

Swayyam Grama

The Swayyam Community Centre builds on the work of Swayyam’s Open Shell Farm and the 1000 Tree Project on the edge of Bandipur National Park where we engage directly with marginal farmers to restore fertility to the land and livelihood security to the families.

A hectare-sized Nursery at the Center will highlight our commitment to tree plantation as the vital element in restoring biodiversity. We will start a Seed Bank to provide easy access to high quality seeds, especially local varieties.

A Cold Oil Press for healthy edible oils and a Mill for dehusking, destoning, and grading millet will encourage the restoration of these crops and begin the restoration of the health of families it feeds. Farmers can use the Community Kitchen to create Value-Added Products and get maximum return on the goods they produce.

We will establish a Residential Farm School for the youth of the area to teach Organic and Biodynamic Farming as well as Permaculture methods and principles.

The Swayyam Community Center fills systemic gaps which contribute to the ecological degradation of the area and restrict what farmers grow.


Villages to be


Youth trained in Climate Resilient Design by year 3


Acres converted to tree based organic farming by year 5 

Farmers in South India have spent decades within a system that encourages chemical and monoculture farming. Ultimately, everyone suffers. Swayyam Kendra offers a vital piece of the much needed alternatives for farmers.

  • A comprehensive Nursery of local forest species, fodder, timber and fruit trees
  • Training Center for nursery-related skill building to encourage the starting of more nurseries in the area.
  • A Farm Store will offer both produce and the value-added products from the community
  • Direct sale removes Middlemen and Price Controls
  • Improved income potential and market reach for local farmers
  • A Residential Farm School to educate and engage the Youth
  • Seed Bank with a Seed Sharing program to promote resilient seed strains
  • Vegetable and Medicinal Plant Nursery
  • A Training School will teach viable skills such as bee keeping, vermicomposting and mushroom cultivation

Help us in this long journey

Donate Now >

Swayyam Kendra - Farmer teach Farmer

Help us build the Centre that will improve livelihoods and opportunities for the people of Southwest India.


Why do you use a Cold Oil Press?

Highly refined oils contribute to heart disease and other ailments of poorer and marginalized people. Small producers in the area need a Cold Oil Press for oil seeds such as sunflower, peanut and castor which all grow easily in the area. The oil cakes produced from the press can be used for livestock feed.

Why are you planting field crops at the Swayyam Kendra?

–Ultimately, we would like to set up more education and demonstration models to encourage farmers to take up our practices. As we work with more farmers on the transition to tree based agriculture, the need for small model farms which show the productivity of mixed cropping techniques becomes more important. Intercropping and Rainwater Harvesting methods are met with skepticism in this area.

What are the struggles farmers are facing here?

We have seen the very farmers that produce the food are malnourished from scant variety, poor quality and low income, and struggle with illness and debt. Improved farming practices will improve the health of the soil which will in turn improve the health of the farmer and the health of all who eat the produce.

What are the struggles farmers are facing here?

As we work with more farmers on Climate Resilient Regenerative Design, there is scope for increasing the variety, availability and nutritional value of the local produce, as well as employing and educating the youth of the area in these methods.

Why have farmers stopped growing Millet in this area?

Farmers resist growing Millet – a traditional, highly nutritious, highly adaptive cereal crop – as it is a difficult grain to process.

How do you support the families of children in the Farm School?

The program includes a stipend for the student upon completion of the apprenticeship, to their family for income lost during the apprenticeship and a farm placement program to increase exposure and knowledge.

What local foods can be made into products for sale in the market?

Jackfruit, mango, tamarind, groundnut, and amla are all locally grown and can be made into a wide variety of goods. Farmers will have direct experience with the creation, marketing and selling of the goods they produce.





Land Acquired