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Regenerative agriculture & its increasing need

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    9th Dec, 2022

Context

The Regenerative agriculture has been receiving much attention from all the stakeholders, as can be effective in building resilience of agroecosystems.

What is Regenerative Agriculture?

  • Regenerative agriculture is a holistic approach to agriculture that focuses on the interconnection of farming systems such as, soil health, food quality, biodiversity improvement, water quality and air quality.
  • It was used by Indigenous communities centuries ago, long before industrial agriculture occurred.

Principles Involved:

  • Minimize soil distribution through conservation tillage

Conservation tillage is a tillage system that creates a suitable soil environment for growing a crop and that conserves soil, water and energy resources mainly through the reduction in the intensity of tillage, and retention of plant residues.

  • Diversify crops to replenish nutrients and disrupt pest and disease life cycles
  • Retain soil cover using cover crops
  • Integrate livestock, which adds manure to the soil and serves as a source of carbon sinks.

Need of Regenerative agriculture

  • The current intensive agriculture system has led to soil degradation and constant losses.
  • There may not be enough soil to feed the world in the next 50 years.
  • Soil fertility and biodiversity are also decreasing across the globe.
  • Regenerative agriculture improves soil health through practices that increase soil organic matter, biota and biodiversity.
    • It also aims at enhancing water-holding capacity and carbon sequestration.
    • It facilitates soil aggregation, water infiltration, retention and nutrient cycling.
    • Regenerative agriculture also reduces erosion, provides habitat and food for diverse species and is beyond sustainability.

Benefits of Regenerative agriculture:

  • Improves Yield
  • Minimizes Cost of Production and Increases Farmers’ Production
  • Ensures Better Health
  • Employment Generation
  • Eliminates the application of chemical input
  • Reduces Water Consumption
  • Promotes Livestock Sustainability

Is Regenerative Agriculture Profitable?

  • The answer is Yes. This increase in profitability was the result of two main factors: input costs and end markets.
  • Decreasing Input Costs: Regenerative agricultural systems, over time, require less external inputs, primarily in the form of seed and fertilizer.

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Push to Natural Farming (Union Budget 2022-23)

  • The Central Government will promote natural farming throughout the country.
  • States will be encouraged to revise syllabus of agricultural universities so as to meet the needs of natural, zero-budget and organic farming.
    • ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research) has already constituted a committee for developing syllabus and curricula of Natural farming at undergraduate and post graduate level.
  • Government is implementing a dedicated scheme of Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati Programme (BPKP); Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) etc.
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