Nature Positive Farming
- April 6, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Nature Positive Farming
Context- The pandemic showed that human interventions in natural processes can have disastrous consequences; we should now scale up natural-positive food systems that would simultaneously promote crop, soil and human health.
- In the mid-1960s, the new strategy of intensive application of modern agricultural practices in relatively resource-rich regions fundamentally transformed the farming sector in India.
- In the initial years of the Green Revolution (GR), India’s food production grew at an unprecedented scale and farm incomes also improved substantially.
- High yielding varieties of seeds, chemical fertilisers, assured irrigation and pesticides were key components of this high-input technology.
- However, the rise in food production has come at a price in the form of
- groundwater depletion,
- land degradation,
- yield stagnation,
- loss of agri-biodiversity and
- the long-term impact on farmers’ and consumers’ health.
- The Budget 2022-23 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent call to take agriculture out of chemical laboratories and connect it with nature’s laboratory reaffirms this realisation.
Bhartiya PrakritikKrishiPadhati (BPKP):
- BPKP was introduced as a sub scheme of ParamparagatKrishiVikas Yojana (PKVY) since 2020-21 for the promotion of traditional indigenous practices.
- The scheme mainly emphasizes on exclusion of all synthetic chemical inputs and promotes on-farm biomass recycling with major stress on biomass mulching; use of cow dung-urine formulations; plant-based preparations and time to time working of soil for aeration.
- Under BPKP, financial assistance of Rs 12200/ha for 3 years is provided for cluster formation, capacity building and continuous handholding by trained personnel, certification and residue analysis.
- In the 2022-23 Budget both the BPKP and PKVY have been subsumed un- der Rashtriya KrishiVikas Yojana (RKVY).
- Natural farming also referred to as “the Fukuoka Method“, “the natural way of farming” or “do-nothing farming”, is an ecological farming approach established by Masanobu Fukuoka (1913–2008).
- It is based on 5 principles:
- No tillage
- No fertilizer
- No pesticides or herbicides
- No weeding
- No pruning
- In India, Natural farming is promoted as Bhartiya PrakritikKrishiPaddhati Programme (BPKP) under ParamparagatKrishiVikas Yojana (PKVY).
The way forward
- First, we have to identify and establish cultivation practices that are crop, soil and region-specific.
- Second, more support is needed for post-harvest management in areas such as transportation, storage and value addition.
- Third, the incentive system available to crops has to change. The present system of minimum support price-based public procurement is concentrated in a few areas and crops. Diversification of the procurement basket is important to ensure they get a fair price for their produce.
- Fourth, provision of financial services like credit and insurance at affordable price is vital for a vibrant and efficient farming system.
- Crop insurance, as a risk mitigation mechanism, can protect the small and marginal farmers from climate variations.
- Fifth, farmer collectives and farmer producer organisations (FPO) need to play a big role in the transition to a sustainable and pesticide-free farming system.
- Finally, there is need for support to encourage entry of many MSMEs in the pesticide-free food chains and to raise awareness among the consumers on a large scale, to raise demand and develop territorial markets.
*** For further reading refer to https://optimizeias.com/chemical-free-natural-farming/