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June 2018 – Biological Crop management

Farmers interested in chemical free farming have been traditionally using biologicals. With the advent of Green revolution agriculture, the emphasis shifted to chemical inputs. However, there has been increased awareness on use of biologicals in recent years as they seem to offer diverse benefits –  to the farmer, consumer as well as environment. The farmer becomes less dependent on external purchased inputs; the biological nutritional supplements and control mechanisms reduce costs of cultivation, improve crop yields; the farm produce is considered more healthy and tasty for the consumers; the use of biologicals keeps the farmer’s health as well as environment safe.

While farmers on their own are producing the needed biologicals on their farm, there are initiatives where in the farmer groups or local collectives are taking up production of biologicals at the community level. There are also private actors in the production and distribution of biologicals. Have these efforts and initiatives helped to provide easy access to biologicals or are farmers finding it difficult to shift to agroecological ways of production owing to lack of access? Despite the shift in the nature of resources used, has the dependency of farmer on the external agencies reduced? Are farmers trained enough to produce and use these resources on their own? What are the benefits and challenges by shifting to biological crop management?  How are farmers dealing with some of these challenges? How are the consumer groups encouraging such efforts? Are there any incentives and mechanisms being offered to the producers for shifting to biological measures. In this issue we would like to include experiences that address these issues, both at the local as well as at the national level.

Articles for the June 2018 issue of LEISA India should be sent to the editors before 1st May 2018. Email: leisaindia@yahoo.co.in