Sustainable Agriculture through Farmer led Approach and Regenerative Initiatives


TIMELINE: September 2013-August 2016

Agriculture in India is going through a massive slowdown by onslaught of various ‘developmental projects’ and fall outs of the Green revolution in India in 1960s, to meet the food requirements. The introduction of hybrid sees and chemical fertilisers and pesticides became commercially beneficial with time.  The indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has not just been eroding the natural nutrients in the soil, but also hitting the small and marginal farmers hard financially. The programme aims to usher in sustainable agricultural practices with the intention of improving overall health and living conditions of 1450 small-holder and marginal farmers’ families in Palakad, Kerala.

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE: Two villages in Kanjirapuzha panchayat of Mannarkkad in Palakkad district in Kerala.

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  1. Smallholder farmers switch to Organic Farming
  • Maximum use of Bio-fertilizer enriched the crops with vitamins, amino acids and growth promoters.
  • Vermi Compost prepared using earth worms, which generally live in soil, eat biomass and excreta in digested form, with the upward and downward movements of earth worms (Tunneling) improved the aeration in soil and facilitated the easy draining of water during rainy season. It also increased the infiltration capacity of soil to absorb soil residues, adding fertility to the soil, preventing soil erosion.
  • Seeds and Seed treatment on the traditional and improved cultivars seeds (a cultivar is a plant or grouping of plants selected for desirable characteristics that can be maintained by propagation) and avoidance of hybrid seeds given their unsustainable nature helped in organic agriculture options.
  • Inter cropping techniques of cultivating companion crops in between main crops helped to judicially utilize the space and inputs. Through the application of water in alternative rows, about 50% of water could be saved.
  1. Agricultural entitlements being secured 
  • As a result of the consistent capacity building, awareness generation and interface and linkages with the service providers, such as PRA, Krishi Bhavan, Banks and Health department, farmers in the project area are accessing agricultural entitlements. The programme coordinator also acts as the Assistant Krishi Officer at the Krishi Bhavan.