Chapters :

Agriculture – 17

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE

Sustainable Agriculture involves the processes that would enable us to meet the current and long term societal needs for food, fibre and other resources, while maximising benefits through the conservation of natural resources and maintenance of ecosystem functions. The priority of exalting human capabilities at the individual (farmer) level and ensuring food security at the national level, through efficient and equitable use of resources are compatible with the concept of „Sustainable Agriculture‟.

 Organic Farming

Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. Organic production is a holistic system designed to optimize the productivity and fitness of diverse communities within the agro-ecosystem, including soil Organisms, Plants, Livestock And People. The principal goal of organic production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.

Objectives of the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP)

The Ministry of Industries and Commerce is implementing the NPOP since 2001 with the following objectives:

  • To provide the means of evaluation of certification programme for organic agriculture and products as per the approved criteria.
  • To accredit certification programmes of Certification Bodies seeking accreditation.
  • To facilitate the certification of organic products in conformity with the prescribed standards.
  • To facilitate certification of organic products in conformity with the importing countries organic standards as per equivalence agreement between the two countries or as per importing country requirements.
  • To encourage the development of organic farming and organic processing
  • Financial and technical support for setting up organic input production and bio fertilizers, vermiculture and bio-pesticides.
  • Biological assessment and soil health
  • Skill training and development

The Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is the implementation agency for the NPOP. APEDA is providing assistance to the exporters of organic products under various components of its export promotion scheme.

PKVY – Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana” is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA). Under PKVY Organic farming is promoted through adoption of organic village by cluster approach and PGS certification.

  • Groups of farmers would be motivated to take up organic farming under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
  • Fifty or more farmers will form a cluster having 50 acre land to take up the organic farming under the scheme. In this way during three years 10,000 clusters will be formed covering 5.0 lakh acre area under organic farming.
  • There will be no liability on the farmers for expenditure on certification.
  • Every farmer will be provided Rs. 20,000 per acre in three years for seed to harvesting of crops and to transport produce to the market.
  • Organic farming will be promoted by using traditional resources and the organic products will be linked with the market.
  • It will increase domestic production and certification of organic produce by involving farmers

Components of the scheme:

  • Adoption of Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification through cluster approach
  • Mobilization of farmers / local people to form cluster in 50 acre for PGS certification
  • PGS Certification and Quality control
  • Adoption of organic village for manure management and biological nitrogen harvesting through cluster approach
  • Action plan for Organic Farming for one cluster
  • Integrated Manure Management
  • Packing, Labeling and Branding of organic products of cluster

Climate Smart Agriculture

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate. CSA aims to tackle three main objectives: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.
CSA is an approach for developing agricultural strategies to secure sustainable food security under climate change.   CSA provides the means to help stakeholders from local to national and international levels identify agricultural strategies suitable to their local conditions.

ZERO BUDGET NATURAL FARMING

Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a holistic alternative to the present paradigm of high-cost chemical inputs-based agriculture. It is very effective in addressing the uncertainties of climate change. ZBNF principles are in harmony with the principles of Agroecology. Its uniqueness is that it is based on the latest scientific discoveries in Agriculture, and, at the same time it is rooted in Indian tradition.

Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP), Department of Agriculture (DoA) is implementing Andhra Pradesh ‘Zero-Budget’ Natural Farming (APZBNF) Programme, through Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS) (corporation for farmers’ empowerment). RySS is a not-for-profit organization established by GoAP. The programme has been initiated in 2015-16 with multiple objectives of enhancing farmers’ welfare, consumer welfare and for the conservation of the environment.

ZERO TILLAGE FARMING

Zero tillage is the process where the crop seed will be sown through drillers without prior land preparation and disturbing the soil where previous crop stubbles are present. Zero tillage not only reduce the cost of cultivation it also reduces the soil erosion, crop duration and irrigation requirement and weed effect which is better than tillage. Zero Tillage (ZT) also called No Tillage or Nil Tillage.

The zero-tillage system is being followed in the Indo-Gangetic plains where rice-wheat cropping is present. Wheat will be planted after rice harvest without any operation. Hundreds of farmers are following the same system and getting more yields and profits by reducing the cost of cultivation. In South, the outhern districts like Guntur and some parts of West Godavari of Andhra Pradesh state follow the ZT system in rice-maize cropping system.

Advantages of zero tillage

  1. Reduction in the crop duration and thereby early cropping can be obtained to get higher yields.
  2. Reduction in the cost of inputs for land preparation and therefore a saving of around 80%.
  3. Residual moisture can be effectively utilized and number of irrigations can be reduced.
  4. Dry matter and organic matter get added to the soil.
  5. Environmentally safe – Greenhouse effect will get reduced due to carbon sequestration.
  6. No tillage reduces the compaction of the soil and reduces the water loss by runoff and prevent soil erosion.
  7. As the soil is intact and no disturbance is done, No Till lands have more useful flora and fauna.

PM KUSUM

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar and other renewable power plants in the country.

The scheme aims to add solar and other renewable capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022 with total central financial support of Rs. 34,422 Crore including service charges to the implementing agencies.

The Scheme consists of three components:

  1. Component A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants of individual plant size up to 2 MW.
  2. Component B:Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP.
  3. Component C: Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps of individual pump capacity up to 7.5 HP.

BIO FERTILIZERS IN AGRICULTURE

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under “Network project on Soil Biodiversity- Bio fertilizers   project” has developed improved and efficient strains of bio fertilizers specific to different crops and soil types. Bio fertilizers can improve yields by 10-25% in most of the cases when used along with chemical fertilizers. Liquid bio fertilizers technology with higher shelf-life has also been developed.

Government under Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) of Soil Health Management Scheme (SHM) of National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) is providing assistance for   Setting up of State of art liquid/ carrier based Bio-fertilizer/ Bio-pesticide units of 200 Ton Per Annum (TPA) capacity. 100% assistance is provided to State Govt. / Govt.  Agencies upto a maximum limit of Rs.160.00 lakh/ unit. Similarly, for individuals/ private agencies assistance upto 25% of cost limited to Rs.40 lakh/unit   as capital investment is provided through NABARD.

As per data provided by NABARD, 61 Bio fertilizer/ Fruit and vegetable compost production units   were established under Capital Investment Subsidy scheme in different states. Similarly funding for 10 bio fertiliser production units and 16 organic/bio fertiliser testing labs was done through Soil Health Management Scheme since 2015.

Conclusion

Hence we have seen the various aspects, challenges and strategies to develop the Indian Agricultural sector. It caters to the needs of hunger, nutritional support, economic development, and food and livelihood security in the context of climate resilience. The government is undertaking tremendous steps to achieve this goal and also make India competitive in global market to achieve the full potential of India’s backbone the agricultural sector.

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