Agroecology trainings and the farmer-to-farmer methodology

June 5, 2017

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India

Agroecology trainings and the farmer-to-farmer methodology

About the Implementing organization

Name: Amrita Bhoomi Center

Country: India

Year of establishment: 2012

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization

Description

The solution is to educate community people on conservation, adaptation, food production, management and protection to integrate community environmental landscape conservation, agriculture, wildlife animals habitats and management by involving partners among stakeholders, for achieving sustainable landscapes ecosystem and agricultural productivity. The conservation is the partnership with personnel and community groups to ensure an evident level of conservation, monitoring and evaluation, effective communication and information sharing and consultation to ensure more formal and informal models with shared decision-making and joint implementation activities for sustainable natural resources economic development.

Technical stakeholders and project's monitors firstly try to understand the feasibility of a community environmental site and community people effectively monitor model in generating the necessary information and to guide the project activities that would supplement indicators. Project activities pioneer approach through which communities Committees will participate in education, conservation, monitoring, and management. We build a network of practitioners of community-based monitoring to share knowledge and best practices with community people as a viable approach for maximizing effectiveness of the project. Conservation activities are measured and evaluated data are gathered on livelihood, natural resource use, fertile land use, food security, and economic development.

Nature Element

Drylands

Type of Action

Restoration / Sustainable use / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Health / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)

      

Environmental Impacts

In the premises of Amrita Bhoomi itself, which has been going through consecutive droughts, water tables have been recharged and a completely ecological farm model has been established based on local livestock and seeds and purely on the food crops for food security. Amrita Bhoomi is also a key organizer of the agroecology movement in the state called the Zero Budget Natural Farming Movement, which has transformed the production model of more than a hundred thousand farmers in Karnataka State alone, which means that chemicals and pesticides have been discontinuing on more than 400,000 hectares of land.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Jobs: Amrita Bhoomi strives to create sustainable and economically viable livelihoods based on agroecology for peasant communities especially for women and youths who are increasingly being pushed out of rural India.

Food: Agroecology is primarily focused on de-linking peasants from the market and bringing autonomy, in the farm and in food. By practicing diverse farming, peasants add various food crops to the mix and bring security in food.

Health: chemically produced food has been linked to various health problems. Agroecology by definition relies on a diversity of crops to provide key ecological and health functions.

Climate: we promote climate smart and drought resistant crops such as millets that are not resource-intensive, and that can grow without any irrigation, and do not depend on fossil fuel dependent synthetic chemical inputs. Agroecology is a serious solution to climate change and it is our key focus.

Scalability

Amrita Bhoomi does not function in a project way, but rather in a social movement way. This means that it does not depend on funding cycles, or on staffed professionals, but rather on its ability to mobilize farmers and others in the general society to contribute to movement goals – as mentioned before Amrita Bhoomi is closely tied to the farmer's movement. Its work is fundamentally based on mass replication through social movements, which is why mass training camps are carried out across the state and are open to the entire peasant community. In fact, recently, a new journal article in the Journal of Peasant Studies has discussed the role played by peasant organizations in scaling-up Zero Budget Natural Farming, the agroecology movement in the state of Karnataka, and Amrita Bhoomi’s efforts have been mentioned in it.

Replicability

Amrita Bhoomi is part of the farmer's movement, and also the global network of farmers movements called La Via Campesina. Through this network, it has already organized many exchange visits and training camps for farmers from across North India and also South Asia. Because of such efforts, Zero Budget Natural Farming methods (what is the agroecology movement in Karnataka), has already spread to Sri Lanka as well as to Nepal. Amrita Bhoomi has a major plan to create a state-wide farmer-to-farmer training organization which will connect expert farmers who have solutions to problems that are faced by other newer farmers. Such a methodology has already functioned in Cuba and was responsible for converting half of the Islands small farmers towards agroecology. Amrita Bhoomi has been learning from such efforts and aims to replicate this methodology and spread agroecology through farmers movements across South Asia.

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