Promoting Two-Way learning exchange in SAFBIN

Climate change is a threat to agriculture, food security and the livelihoods of small farmers. In order to strengthen the adaptive capacities of smallholder farmers to this phenomenon, Smallholder Adaptive Farming and Biodiversity Network (SAFBIN) has developed a smallholder led integrated Farming System (IFS) to ensure local food and nutritional security while promoting agroecological practices through re-use / recycle of existing farm waste and resources.

One of the major components of an on-farm adaptive research trial is to encourage farmers to farmers learning exchange where smallholders can have to opportunity to see, discuss and learn about the practices and technologies adapted/used that are similar to the climate they belong to. In this context, 28 smallholder farmers (20 male & 8 female) from Rani Kisan, Chandani Kisan & Sandhya Kisan farmers collectives visited Mannu lal Ahirwar of Khusipura village on 4th of January 2020.

The objectives of the visit were to create a platform for smallholders to have in-depth experience on the smallholder led integrated farming system initiated by Caritas India through its implementing partner organisation Manav Vikas Seva Sangh. Also providing a cross-learning perspective amongst the smallholder farmers against the trial learning, involve them in knowledge exchange to promote exchanging ideas, values and culture as well as to develop farmer-led approaches among the smallholder.

Mannu Lal Ahirwar, a smallholder farmer shared his experience among the farmers on the benefits of smallholder led integrated farming systems where a smallholder can have the maximum opportunity to take the decision with regards to his farming system. Also, how it has helped him to minimize the external dependency by reusing his own farm waste and resources.

Farmers were further oriented on the importance of the vulnerability assessment which enabled smallholder like them to reflect twice on the gaps and challenges in their existing agriculture practices and made necessary modifications accordingly based on their capacity with ownership of resources in consultation with local stakeholders for validation.

The blending process of technology with traditional knowledge in the on-farm adaptive process was one of the key eye-openers by maximum farmers visited along with no-cost organic botanicals and bio-pest repellents help to reduce almost 30% of the risk of diseases and pest infestations. Gore Lal Ahirwar shared after the visit.