Why / What Food Forest Model

What is Food Forest Model?

Our “Food-Forest” model combines knowledge of traditional natural farming with technology and operational processes. A food forest is a food production strategy in a small space by mimicking the natural forest ecosystem. A food forest is a method of agroforestry system which is relatively cost-effective, maintenance-free, and regenerative in nature. Incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans.

Why Food Forest Model and why Natural Farming?

The demand for natural grown products in India is rising rapidly and is likely to only increase in coming years. The reasons are not far to seek – rising health consciousness, increased consumer spending on healthy foods, growing incidences of food adulteration, reckless usage of chemicals in agricultural practices and so on. Further, natural farming’s benefits far transcend the economic benefits. The focus on microbial richness of soil and its consequent positive impact on soil-fertility, water conservation practices, zero chemical inputs and so on, lend themselves to a high degree of environmental benefits.

  1. Only 2.5% of agricultural land is under natural farming, that is equivalent to about 3 million hectares, out of 140 million hectares.
  2. Remove the myth of low profitability for small / marginal farmers in natural farming; our nominal yield, net of major Agri-risks, is about 12-20 tons per acre per year of fruits, greens, and vegetables, from second year onwards.
  3. Dignified livelihood for ex-servicemen, rural women, and youth in their own villages.
  4. There is also a surging demand for healthy food among consumers. Due to rising health consciousness, consumers are willing to spend on healthy foods.

The“Food Forest”Model addresses these major issues.

There has never been a better time for the Agritech industry in our country’s recent history. Rising demand for healthy food, need for grass root leadership at village level to promote natural farming and all its value additions, most of all soaring investments by Government and Private Sector are all indicators of future wealth creation for practitioners across the value chain of agriculture.
The core approach of Gramonnati Trust is to combine the traditional knowledge of Natural Farming with discipline of ex-soldiers and innovative technologies. The result is consistent high income per acre and/ or project for ESM and their family members who take it up.


Take any well-run rural program. It will, in all likelihood, furnish two critical predictors of success: an inspiring leader at grass-root level and a consistent quality of execution. It is the same for any natural farming project, where mindset change among farmers has to be achieved through demonstration of results on ground against fairly high odds. It is our belief that ESM, duly trained and developed, are ideally suited to be the instruments of change in mass adoption of natural farming practices across India.

A typical soldier is usually from a rural background. He has spent around 15 to 20 years of his best years in the Armed Forces. He is well-trained, has all potential abilities needed to be a grass-root leader. He is well-respected in his community. After retirement, they want to go back and settle down in their village. But often, lack of economically viable options force many of them to take up low-end jobs in cities like security guards, drivers and so on.

Every year, over 50 – 60,000 soldiers retire from the Indian Armed Forces. That makes for over half a million of them who have retired in the last 10 -15 years or so, with a large percentage of them from rural background. A huge impact can be created in rural development, if even 10% of them are developed as natural farming entrepreneurs.

The main objectives of a Food Forest model are

  • To create low-maintenance, regenerative food systems Being more self-reliant
  • To generate sustainable income sources for the farming community


  • Deep Impact on Environment
  1. Increasing tree cover per acre with between 100 to 300 fruit trees per acre.
  2. Conversion of unused, barren land into microbially rich organic soil through traditional methods.
  3.  Massive opportunity to help farmers develop into natural farming practitioners
  4. Reducing water consumption by 30% – 40%.
  5. 8-10 Tons of biomass converted to compost per acre.
  6. Carbon sequestration into the ground
  • Gainful Livelihood and Entrepreneurship
  1. Ex-soldiers as grassroot change leaders.
  2. Empowerment of rural women and youth
  • Healthy, chemical-free food for urban consumers 
  1. we provide natural food grown in nutrient-rich soil with no chemical additives
  • SDG17 Impact-
  1. SDG – The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”.

The goals and objectives of the Project positively impacts 7 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Generating Income for the family and reducing poverty levels

Promote organic and natural products thereby improving health status of beneficiaries

Sustain per capita economic growth, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, establish micro-enterprise with access to financial services

Reduction of CO2 emissions through solar renewable energy, building capacity for climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction

Dignified livelihood to meet day to day food needs [Food security]

Providing equal opportunities for women thereby empowering them

Reducing food waste through using value addition, preventing production and consumption related loss

This application helps in estimating

Gramonnati Trust is using the Carbon Mint application to manage its farms.  It implements a robust data collection system. And utilizes reliable measurement techniques.

  1. How much Water is Saved: Determine amount of water saved.  Measure reduction in water usage compared to traditional methods
  2. Power Saved: Calculate energy saved through solar dryers. Quantify reduction in power consumption during the drying process.
  3. Methane Emissions Mitigated: Assess amount of methane emissions mitigated. Measure reduction in methane released during the drying process.
  4. GHG Emissions Saved: Evaluate overall greenhouse gas emissions saved. Quantify reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions during the drying process.
  5. Women Labor Employment: Measure the number of women employed through solar dryer events. Assess the impact on livelihoods and families of the employed women