Farmer Subhash Sharma watched the decline of his soil and agricultural yields before he let nature be his teacher and understood the agro-economics of agriculture. He abandoned insecticides and chemical fertilisers and relied instead on the cow, trees, birds and vegetation.

Jayant Barve used to market chemical fertilisers and pesticides and practise chemical agriculture himself. In 1988, he switched to sustainable agriculture, and has never looked back since. In this interview he emphasises that despite much lower input costs, organic farming does give the same yield as chemical agriculture, sometimes even more. An interview by Claude Alvares.

Farmers work with knowledge systems that evolve with time and circumstance. They learn and unlearn, choosing the appropriate knowledge in their struggle to earn a livelihood. While scientists rely on averages, the knowledge of local people is dynamic and up-to-date, continually revised as conditions alter, writes A Thimmaiah.

All over India rural revivalists are rejecting the corporatised, programmatic, high-input model of agriculture and following agro-ecological approaches in which shared, distributed knowledge systems provide ways to adapt to changing climate and a shrinking natural resource base.

Farmers need credit for various reasons. But their inability to repay has been an important reason for not being able to access timely credit. Pragathibandhu is an innovative programme which makes the poor bankable by diversifying
income sources and facilitating labour sharing.

Traditional farming knowledge on agroecosystem management promoted the low cost sustainable development in ecosystems through optimal use of natural resources. It protects and conserves ecological systems, and improving economic efficiency of the farming community. The coastal agroecosystem of Parangipettai (Portonovo) in Northeastern coastal Tamil

Agricultural systems as well as other ecosystems generate ecosystem services, i.e., societal benefits from ecological processes. These services include, for example, nutrient reduction that leads to water quality improvements in some wetlands and climatic regulation through recycling of precipitation in rain forests.

The local farmers possess an immense knowledge of their environment. An effort was made to carryout a research on the conservation and testing of nitrogen effect over the location specific indigenous paddy varieties in purposively selected tribals

Original Source

Young farmers in Ratnagiri are successfully preserving the unique diversity of the region by integrating small scale agriculture with livestock production.

Planning based on agro-ecological zoning aims at scientific management of regional resources to meet the food, fibre, fodder and fuel wood requirements without adversely affecting the status of natural resources and environment.

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