Working with nature to achieve much more with less is the art, practise, and, increasingly, science of natural farming. This method, on the other hand, has been linked to lower yields and little improvement in farmer income.
The Importance of Natural Farming:-
Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese farmer and philosopher, popularised this farming method in his 1975 book ‘The One-Straw Revolution.’
It’s a multi-crop, multi-tree, multi-livestock agricultural system that makes the best use of functional biodiversity.
Natural farming is a type of regenerative agriculture, which is a popular technique for saving the earth on a global scale.
It has the potential to increase farmers’ income while also providing numerous additional benefits, including as soil fertility restoration and environmental health, as well as mitigating and/or reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It has the ability to manage land usage and store carbon from the atmosphere in soils and plants, where it can be used.
In this regard, initiatives have been launched.
- Sub-mission on AgroForestry (SMAF) of the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) National Mission on
- Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
- Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (Rahtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana) is a government
Efforts that can be made to increase the extent of natural farming –
Beyond the Ganga Basin:
- Promoting natural farming in rain-fed places outside of the Gangetic basin.
- In comparison to locations where irrigation is common, rainfed regions utilise only a third of the fertilizers per hectare.
- In certain areas, the transition to chemical-free farming will be easier.
- Farmers will also benefit because crop yields in these areas are now poor.
Preventing Risks for a Smooth Transition:
- PM Fasal Bima Yojana allows farmers migrating to chemical-free farming to be automatically enrolled in the government’s crop insurance scheme (PMFBY).
- Any change in agriculture, such as crop diversification or agricultural practices, increases the farmer’s risk.
- Covering such risks may increase farmers’ willingness to make the shift.
Providing Assistance to Agri-Micro-Small-Businesses (MSMEs):
- Government support will be granted to microenterprises that generate chemical-free agriculture inputs.
- The promotion of natural farming must be paired with the establishment of village-level input preparation and sales shops to meet the difficulty of the lack of easily available natural inputs.
- At least five million young men and women might find work in two shops each hamlet across the country.
- Peer Farmers as Sources of Insight: For this reason, NGOs and champion farmers who have been advocating and practising sustainable agriculture across the country can be used.
- According to a CEEW (Council on Energy, Environment, and Water) study, at least five million farmers are already practising sustainable agriculture, and hundreds of NGOs are working to promote it.
- In Andhra Pradesh, learning from peers, particularly champion farmers, through on-field demonstrations has proven to be extremely beneficial in scaling up chemical-free agriculture.
- Community institutions can be used to raise awareness, inspire people, and provide social assistance.
- The government should help create an environment where farmers can learn from and support one another as they make the change.
- Aside from changing the curriculum in agricultural universities, agriculture extension personnel must be upskilled in sustainable agriculture practises.