The Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD) is based in Aurangabad of Maharashtra and its work is primarily focused in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. IIRD was started with the vision of empowered rural communities that strive for a social and economically just society while preserving and conserving the environment.
The intervention of IIRD is based on the philosophy of People’s Education and Action for Community Empowerment (PEACE). This involves an education that empowers communities to take actions for better rural livelihoods and social justice. During the past two decades, IIRD has worked with the communities to identify their challenges, acquire and share relevant traditional knowledge, and take individual and collective actions. This process has led to sustainable practices in farming, rural enterprises, and other livelihood activities, particularly among the small and marginal farmers.
The challenges of small and marginal farmers are manifold – lack of water, increased cost of cultivation, small and fragmented lands, difficulty in access to markets, and many more. IIRD and its key partners at the grassroots believe on the path of organic farming towards sustainable livelihoods. Since its inception, IIRD has been promoting organic farming and has established alternative markets for the small and marginal organic farmers called the Organic Bazaars.
The efforts of IIRD and the partner communities have been recognized nationally and internationally. IIRD is the recipient of the prestigious Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) Award and the Krishi Bushan award from the Maharashtra state Government in India.
IIRD is proud to be associated with IFOAM since 1994. During this association, IIRD has served as the IFOAM Asia Regional Secretariat for 3 years and Dr. Alexander Daniel, the founder of IIRD, has been in the IFOAM World Board for two terms during the past. As a network, IFOAM has facilitated participation in international events and interventions while taking lessons from the grassroots. To know more about IIRD, visit www.iird.org.in