The Prince of Wales launched the Bhumi Vardaan Foundation, in March 2006, in Punjab, India, to help small farmers convert to grow certified organic produce (by providing training facilities and marketing support) and to market the produce for them in India and overseas. Based on the Duchy Originals UK model, all profits will be utilised for charitable initiatives which promote sustainable agricultural development in India.
The Prince of Wales sees the Bhumi Vardaan Foundation as a force for good in the sustainable development of rural communities in India. The aim will be to bring on board a wide spectrum of experience, from across India’s organic initiative, traditional crafts and build heritage sectors, keeping in mind the strong inter-linkages in the rural eco-system in India. The Foundation will share best practices and support capacity building, bringing together various individuals and organisations involved in the organic movement in India and working on developing sustainable livelihoods for rural communities, particularly in hill folk of the Himalayan range.
The Foundation aims to support preserving crafts skills, water conservation and harvesting, build heritage sectors, traditional medical practices and youth enterprise. Above all the priority is to develop natural, organic and sustainable agriculture and forestry, maintain ecological balance, preserve biodiversity and traditional knowledge, skills and crafts, develop new value chains and improve the quality of life of cultivator and growers.
A major priority for the Foundation is its “Himalayan initiative”. HRH the Prince of Wales is particularly keen to provide support to village communities in the Himalayas with a view to empower them economically, maintain the sustainability of their traditional agriculture and preserve and protect the culture and rural society. In doing to a major priority is preserving the precious and fragile ecology of the Himalayan Mountains. Also an integral part of the vision and objective is to help preserve traditional knowledge and skills relating to herbs and other medicinal and aromatic produce growing naturally in the Himalayas.
They will be situated in all types of climate, zones e.g.