Purposeful, sustainable travel for conscious, curious explorers

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Our food systems are calling for radical change. While a third of the world’s food is spoiled before it can be consumed, more than 800 million humans are going hungry. Industrial farming practices are degrading the soil and making farmers increasingly dependent on harmful fertilisers. Many small farmers already live in poverty, with climate change set to increase the prevalence of floods and drought.

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” – Ferdinand Foch


In our homes, we have become disconnected from our food system. One shopping basket can contain items from across the world. Imports are often cheaper than local produce and we barely remember a time when avocados were truly seasonal.

A two-week, immersive learning journey to India offers you the opportunity to reconnect with a truly localised food system. See the connections between agriculture, ecology, economics and wellbeing as you encounter alternative ways of farming. Experience destinations not visited on regular tourist routes and encounter inspiring teachers and activists.


While it may not be immediately apparent, India and South Africa face very similar issues and contexts. Both part of the BRICS block, our countries are in the process of developing and fighting challenges of inequality and food security. This journey allows a new perspective on well-known problems and introduces new approaches to the issues we face back home.

India’s flavours and tastes are some of the most replicated in the world, yet it’s food story is complex and challenging. The Green Revolution of the 20th century left behind a heavy reliance on chemical fertilisers and pesticides which not only sent farmers into a spiral of debt, but over time poisoned the soil and led to decreasing yields. Nearly 300 000 farmers have committed suicide the 1960s.

Today, grassroots organisations are working to empower farmers once more, to encourage them to develop organic farming solutions specific to their local contexts. Forgotten local knowledge is regaining its worth. While India is transitioning to become a global economic powerhouse, local food and farming stories are shaping the country’s history.


This experience is for those who enjoy travelling to areas beyond the beaten track and connect authentic experiences with global thinking and research. It’s a lived experience. It challenges you to embrace the local context and become part of the everyday life.

The teaching component is focused on food system sustainability and knowledge cogeneration. You will leave with an enhanced ability to navigate the complexity within both regional and global food systems, as well as the capacity to critically evaluate different options for improving food systems in the 21st century.

The nature of an immersive learning journey consists of lectures that take on a global focus, with field trips to various farms and rural development NGO’s showing the gritty, practical side of food and farming at a grassroots level. Local practitioners and researchers will share their knowledge on guided trips to destinations that are out-of-reach to most tourists.


Few travel experiences and excursions today have a truly sustainable ethos where the trip is specifically tailored to tread lightly – both on the community and the environment. On this immersive learning journey, you find yourself in the midst of a traditional community, where local practices are respected and encouraged.

Food is mostly vegetarian without the option of adapting to a traditional Western diet. Meals are made from scratch with local ingredients. Accommodation is clean, but basic. In a crowded country, there isn’t space for single rooms, so you’ll reside in shared men-only and women-only rooms.

Travelling like this is about delving into a place and truly spending time there. Travelling like this is slow, local, and mindful.

For more enquiries/To book a space: Please contact Eduardo Shimahara at shima@sustainabilityinstitute.net by 20 May 2018. More information is available here.