Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture

Climate smart crops

A woman harvesting diverse millets

Tubers, pulses and millets are important for the livelihoods and nutrition of poor farmers, especially in fragile regions. These crops are not only underutilised, but are also under-researched. Ama Sangathan, a women federation consisting of 1200 indigenous women, have revived these crops in two blocks in Odisha, by their vibrant campaigning. In Odisha State of […]

Uncultivated foods – The hidden treasure

Fruits collected from the forest

The share of uncultivated foods from the forest has gradually declined in the diets of Paharia tribes in Jharkhand. Initiatives like conservation, preservation, processing of uncultivated foods has helped them regain their position and enhance the dietary diversity of the communities, also addressing the issues of hunger and malnutrition It was a January morning. The […]

Pulse Panchayat – Achieving self sufficiency in pulse production

Farmers taking oath to cultivate pulses

Pulse panchayat is an integrated approach in establishing a sustainable production, value addition and marketing system. The initiative implemented by a Farmer Producer Company in Tamil Nadu, is moving towards achieving self sufficiency in pulse production. Pulses with their inherent capacity to fix biological nitrogen and the ability to withstand weather variability, are the solutions […]

Farming without pumps

A storage tank collecting water from surangas

Many farmers in the regions adjoining Karnataka and Kerala are relying on Surangas, the traditional water harvesting structures, for meeting water requirements of their crops. Surangas are man made caves of water which work on gravitational forces requiring no external power to operate. “If we have to resort to pump based lift- irrigation like most […]

The Narayana Reddy Column

Narayana Reddy

Humus – key to soil water conservation Next to air, water is the most important for the survival of any living organism. In agriculture, water plays an important role in crop production. Day by day, water is becoming scarce and even the available water for agriculture is not of good quality as much of it is […]

Integrated small scale water resources Management in Maharashtra

Spring development

Involving local communities in identifying local solutions is the best way to address local water problems. Experience of MITTRA is one such example which depicts communities taking charge of developing water sources and managing them well too. Domkhadak village located at 19 kms from Peint taluka of Nasik district has an undulating and hilly topography. Traditional […]

Modern Holland: built on centuries-old system

Modern Holland-Built on centuries-old system

Holland is famous for its polders, or reclaimed land below sea level. The shaping of the Dutch landscape goes back to the 12th century, when rising water levels threatened agricultural land. In response, farmers formed water committees that constructed channels, dykes and windmills to keep land arable and inhabitable. Even though the Netherlands is now […]

Running water uphill with a ram pump

Running water uphill with a ram pump

Gravity makes water run downhill, so people and communities living in mountainous areas often have more difficulties in accessing sufficient water. As this example from the Philippines shows, simple technologies can be a great help – but their application requires co-ordinated efforts among all stakeholders.               Life in mountainous areas […]

Some field initiatives

Lingubai, the driving force

Go organic to conserve water Lingubai, a 52 year old tribal woman farmer in Samaguda village, motivated by the water conservation methods adopted by her ancestors had cultivated the habit of saving water, first at her household level. She also assimilated the scientific concepts from field staff of Chetna Organic Farmers Association (COFA) which was […]

Communities cope with flooding situation with Gaota

Floating gaota

Floating agriculture is a good popular practice of the low-lying areas the south-western parts of Bangladesh where lands remain submerged most of time in a year. Not only to cope during floods, floating agriculture is also a potential means to increase the food production in the country. Basudevpur village situated in Muksordpur Upazila (subdistrict) in […]