Natural farming model in Andhra Pradesh could advance sustainable agriculture in India
Published: June 9, 2021
Category: Organic News
India is experiencing an agriculture crisis—distressed, debt-ridden farmers, suicides, and mass protests reflect a dire economic situation, climate impacts, and depletion of natural resources. The vast majority of public dollars go toward the input-driven, green revolution model of farming that has caused farmer insecurity, insufficient yields, and ecological imbalance. The unsustainable situation has resulted in over half the aquifers having depleted water levels, 90% of groundwater steered to irrigation, and 30% of land showing degraded topsoil.
The government has advised reducing chemical fertilizers and paid lip service to “zero budget farming” but hasn’t invested enough to materialize these goals. Sustainable practices would conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and potentially reduce cost of production and climate-related risks.
The Andhra Pradesh Community managed Natural Farming (APCNF) seeks to transition the entire state to low-input, chemical-free “natural farming” by 2030. With over 6,000,000 acres of cultivated land, Andhra Pradesh could make a significant impact. APCNF prioritizes farmer livelihoods, training growers through peer-to-peer learning in reliance on local resources to reduce input costs. “Master farmers” train smallholder farmers in natural farming tailored to regional conditions.
Since 2000, Andhra Pradesh has committed to rural development, with community sustainable ag programs and women’s self-help groups. These groups are forming a network to advance APCNF’s programs. APCNF offers a model India can build on, and scale up to spread sustainable agriculture throughout the country.
Source: The Wire News India
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