Bhaginath Jadhav from Khokar village in Maharashtra started practicing natural farming in five acres of pomegranate farm after attending our natural farming workshop. As a result of this, his farming costs have decreased significantly. Where other farmers invest Rs. 70,000 per acre, he manages with an input cost of Rs. 15,000 per acre.
Another humble farmer, Shrimant Ganu Shelake from Pandharpur, Maharashtra narrates that his five acres of land requires less water, labor and investment than that required in chemical farming. Cultivating one acre would cost him a whopping Rs. 25,000, but now it costs him only Rs. 5000. His yearly income has also increased significantly.
Sustainable farming methods have tremendous potential to transform India’s agriculture-based economy. It can not only aid farmers by cutting farming costs but in the long run, it can restore the ecological imbalances caused by the overuse of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified seeds.
So far, over 2,000,000 farmers have been trained in natural farming techniques. We currently have around 1200 trainers who travel across the country and conduct workshops.
Apart from the conventional natural farming, we have also been exploring newer techniques of organic cultivation. Permaculture – a sustainable agriculture system that redefines agriculture as a design science – is being currently experimented at our International Center in Bangalore. Apart, from this we have explored using “Garbage Enzymes” and have put in constant efforts to preserve the traditional indigenous seed varieties.
How does the journey look so far?
2 Million farmers
have been trained in natural farming
Trained 1200 trainers from
across the country to spread this knowledge
2.2 Million trees
have been planted all across the country
How did we work?
Over the years we have explored different methods of natural farming and created a comprehensive training module blending traditional agricultural knowledge with current technologies.
We have also developed a train the trainer program which has been conducted for over 1200 farmers. Many of these trainers have gone back into the community and have been instrumental in spreading this knowledge far and wide.
What did we learn?
“Around 20 years back, I started farming and I was completely dependent on chemicals. But luckily, I came across the knowledge of natural farming and it has been a blessing. I started natural farming around eight years ago, as I was introduced to The Art of Living and since then I have been following it 100 percent with full confidence.”
– Dr Shahikant Salunke from Maharashtra
A large proportion of Indian farmers shifted from natural farming to chemical farming fairly recently. However, it takes nearly three-to-five years for the land to re-adjust and natural farming yields to become commensurate to those of chemical farming. This alongside the lack of appropriate marketing channels for organic produce have been the biggest deterrents in re-adoption of natural farming techniques.
How can you contribute?
We would like to replicate this success in many more regions across India so that the farmers can adopt natural farming methods.